11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This California singer/songwriter distinguishes himself by touching upon issues of self-doubt and suffering while remaining true to his God-centered perspective. If his lyrics often seem intimately confessional, his musical ideas are expansive, favoring baroque embellishments upon stark acoustic guitar and piano lines. Songs like “When Everything Else Is Gone,” “Invisible Light” and “The Hard Way” approach themes of spiritual struggle with the sensitivity of vintage Jackson Browne. When not owning up to his own weakness, Watts is capable of evocative character sketches, as “Queen Misery” shows. Though much of the album has a melancholy ambiance, “Reckless” and the title tune are filled with idealism and defiant joy. Watts’ vocals — at once mature, slightly weary but resolute — are well suited to the elegant chamber-pop string settings found on many of the tracks. Murder Yesterdayought to lift this protean talent out of the background and into the spotlight.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This California singer/songwriter distinguishes himself by touching upon issues of self-doubt and suffering while remaining true to his God-centered perspective. If his lyrics often seem intimately confessional, his musical ideas are expansive, favoring baroque embellishments upon stark acoustic guitar and piano lines. Songs like “When Everything Else Is Gone,” “Invisible Light” and “The Hard Way” approach themes of spiritual struggle with the sensitivity of vintage Jackson Browne. When not owning up to his own weakness, Watts is capable of evocative character sketches, as “Queen Misery” shows. Though much of the album has a melancholy ambiance, “Reckless” and the title tune are filled with idealism and defiant joy. Watts’ vocals — at once mature, slightly weary but resolute — are well suited to the elegant chamber-pop string settings found on many of the tracks. Murder Yesterdayought to lift this protean talent out of the background and into the spotlight.

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