This album was released last May, but I wanted to do an article on it simply because I think it deserves one. Montreal native, Patrick Watson, and his band, the Wooden Arms, released their fourth album, Adventures In Your Own Backyard. This is the type of an album that you put on when you start to experience bittersweet nostalgia. Watson said he wanted to make it an album that you would listen to at home (hence the album title). When I first listened to it, I got the feeling of summer evenings, family vacations, and friendships as a child...you know, the nostalgia. It’s consistent throughout the album, in the music and in the lyrics. Adventures In Your Own Backyard certainly has a lot to offer.
The album has twelve tracks, including two instrumentals. The first track, “Lighthouse”, starts out as a lonely piano ballad, but then bursts into a large production of strings, trumpets and the musical saw.
Songs like “Morning Sheets” and “Strange Crooked Road” offer more of an upbeat feel to the album, but like Watson’s previous albums, it’s not consistent. The real treasure is in the songs like “Quiet Crowd” and “Noisy Sunday”, where Watson shows what he’s most well known for...writing beautiful music. The album’s only single is “Into Giants”, which is a light hearted tune about looking back at old friends and memories. It really displays an overall feel to the album.
The highpoint of the album is the track, “Adventures In Your Own Backyard”, which obviously makes sense. The song’s melody dances around like a whirlwind, complete with a variety of instruments. The guitars, trumpets, and whistling in the song remind me of those old western films, which makes me think of how kids used to play cowboys and indians in their backyards. The song’s lyrics make the whole album open to interpretation.
The only problem I had with the album is the final track, “Swimming Pools”. The second to last song, “Adventures In Your Own Backyard”, would have ended the album quite well. Instead, the lonely instrumental, “Swimming Pools”, concludes the album, which really doesn’t fit in right.
Adventures In Your Own Backyard is beautiful. It contains many different textures to it, but has an overall depiction of the things we treasure most in life. It may not be the kind of album you would jam out to, but you can certainly relate to it. Just close your eyes and give it a listen.