Patrick Watson- Close To Paradise

Patrick Watson- <i>Close To Paradise</i>
Close To Paradise finds the classically trained Watson in full creative bloom, channeling his varied tastes (he cites Debussy and Jeff Buckley as influences) into one of the most remarkable orch-pop releases of the past year. To listen to Close to Paradise is to transcend the mundane, to open the door to a shadow world, vaguely similar to the one we inhabit, yet far richer and eerily dreamlike, brimming with hope and yearning and wonder. Watson’s metaphor-laden narrative unravels unhurriedly, carried by his singular croon that ebbs and flows with pretense-fee nonchalance. His dense arrangements are as intricate as spider webs, and the marvelous studio wizardry at play turns what are great songs into titanic pop symphonies, regal and immovable. It’s a rare treat to come across an album that achieves this level of opulence without spilling into excess, so here’s to not feeling guilty about indulging in lavish tastes. (Secret City)