Patrick Watson, “Love Songs for Robots”
Love Songs for Robots
Patrick Watson may have taken a bit of a hiatus since 2012’s Adventures in Your Own Backyard, but the singer-songwriter’s signature chamber-pop has continued to rattle around our collective subconscious—you may have noticed his haunting croons in the season five trailer for The Walking Dead. While this exposure introduces Watson to a much larger audience, his fifth studio album, Love Songs for Robots, finds the Canadian musician lost, and turning towards cold and calculated mechanical production. However, instead of trading in his piano solos for electric guitar riffs and synth lines, Watson ambitiously attempts to lift the keys into a realm of layered instrumentals and meticulously built crescendos. Regrettably, the resulting ten tracks are a confusing and muddied mélange. Love Songs’ haunting, resonating vacancy is, by far, the album’s most interesting aspect, but it’s never given much of an opportunity to blossom before being squashed under the weight of Watson’s claustrophobic sonic layers.