"Closer to Paradise" Is Among the Best of 2007
Gavin B. | St. Louis MO | 10/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Patrick Watson is a Montreal based musician and "Closer to Paradise" is his first United States CD release. "Closer to Paradise" is a cycle of songs, in which each song stands on the strength of Watson's mastery of the songwriting craft. The songs have the intrinsic quality of a hauntingly beautiful cinema soundtrack. Watson's greatest strength is the gift of his soaring voice which is capable of running the multi-octave range from contralto to purest sound of a soprano using a falsetto voice.
Few male singers can hit the notes within mid-soprano range without mimicking the notes with use of a falsetto. Falsetto translated from Italian literally means "false voice". All of my digression is to a point. While technically Patrick Watson sings falsetto his mimicry of the pure soprano is very convincing. It puts in the rarest company of few other vocal prodigies like Tim Buckley, his son Jeff Buckley and Martin Sexton all have fooled even the best tuned ears of the experts.
The song arrangements have elements of the lush sound of baroque pop and the understated minimalism of ambient electronica. The four piece band behind Watson,like Jeff Buckley's former band mates are more than window dressing for his talents but an integral part of Patrick Watson's unique musical vision. Patrick Watson is the hands-down best debut album of 2007 and "Closer to Paradise" is but the opening chapter in a long musical journey."
Ryan R Retherford | Wheat Ridge, Co United States | 02/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A horrible injustice!! I've never written a review on here before but it just seems sacrilege that this work isn't more recognized here. I only just found it (a happenstance listening in barnes and noble of all places) a week or 2 ago. Like most albums that have found themselves in continuous rotation in my car, it takes a time or 2 of complete run through to grow on me. At listen 2 I can say... Excellent. two thumbs up. Bravo. Creative yet simple. Dreamy with just a hint of creepiness. Most importantly; original. Difficult to categorize. I do hear elements of a few other artists in there that are worthy of mention;
Black heart procession
william elliot Whitmore
Muse (you hear it, don't you?)
and maybe a little Tom waits ( more for physical appearance, lyricism and the weird factor) for good measure
all that equals= one of the best albums I've bought in at least a year."
Shades of Jeff Buckley
aproductofsociety | 03/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Patrick Watson's voice is so eerily like that of the dearly departed Jeff Buckley....they both share a range and sweetness that overwhelm me at times. Listen to the passage from around 1:00 to 2:00 minutes on "Daydreamer" (track 2) and you'll hear what I'm talking about. My one quibble with Watson is that he sometimes overproduces his songs. "Daydreamer" is also a good illustration of that point -- the melody is lovely but Watson chooses to clutter it up with all manner of rather low-end special effects that would have been better kept in his synthesizer's memory. "Luscious Life" (track 8) also reminds me slightly of Sufjan Stevens. I'm hard pressed to detect any influence by Debussy or Satie, no matter what Watson's bio says.
This is a promising effort, and highly recommended."