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Patrick Ames

Liveness

Review by Gary Hill

This set will definitely not be for everyone. If you like things like Tom Waits, you might find a kinship to this. The music here lands at times closer to folk music, while at other points it gets more psychedelic. It's always lo-fi in terms of production. If you demand some kind of serious polish, you probably will want to look elsewhere. That's not the point of this. There is an genuine immediacy here. It brings a sense of an artist creating straight from his heart. That's the key.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Bang Bang Bang

Drums bring this into being. The cut works out from there with a cool slow moving groove. The vocals lean toward spoken. The indie folk kind of vibe on this number is pretty effective, but there are some moments that don't work for me.

I Want You (Bossa Nova)

I'm not really a fan of this one. It sounds sort of detuned and tweaked. The indie-DIY charms are rather cool, though. There are some female backing vocals in the mix on this that lend something special.

Just Before I Said I Do (Wedding Song)
This is one of my favorite cuts of the disc. The whole indie DIY element is fully on display here. It happens to be more effective on this tune than it does on some of the others. There is a singer songwriter concept delivered with more of a psychedelic edge. There is a bit of a dreaminess to it. In some ways I'm reminded of Gary Wilson, but with a more guitar-oriented approach rather than keyboard-dominated.
Slow Dancing
The female backing vocals bring something special to this song. There is a quirky weirdness to the piece that takes some getting used to. There is a bit of a dreamy quality to this cut  In fact, the closing section really does feel a bit like a dream-state.
Suspicions
Slow moving and stripped back, this is basically just acoustic guitar and voice. It's a bit odd in some ways. There are some backing vocals later and some unusual changes to the guitar part.
Want To Believe
A drum machine type backing track holds up the back-end of this. The tune has more of a rock band vibe, but with an acoustic guitar basis. The backing vocals on this one get decidedly soulful. This is one of the strongest numbers here, really.
 
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