patrickwatson

Over four albums Canadian singer-songwriter Patrick Watson, backed by his eponymous band, has tread softly along the cardigan-indie path – breathy vocals, ethereal melodies, and wispy songs that sound in danger of vanishing into thin air. But ‘Love Songs For Robots’, ostensibly a meditation on how “the only thing left between us and robots is curiosity and inspiration”, sees Watson wrap the bones of his ideas in far more flesh and meat; it just sounds fuller. Gone too are the quirky experimentation and needless gimmicks, replaced by more solid ideas and heft – the Arcade Fire chorus of ‘Hearts’, the stylish shuffle of ‘Know That You Know’, the sweeping solos of ‘Good Morning Mr. Wolf’.

If anything, you’re left feeling he hasn’t gone far enough, and too many tracks here retreat with a sad whimper when you expect them to soar. There’s no doubting Watson’s talent or craft – it’s his strongest collection of songs to date – he just needs to realise that sometimes, contrary to received wisdom, “less is more” shouldn’t be taken so literally.

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