By Open Mouth
One man and his acoustic guitar can be a great platform for tedious journalism - emo, troubadour and cult hero are usually the order of the day for any given Get Cape or Bright Eyes review.
I'd expect Seymour Patrick would be burdened by such words. I'm not all together sure though, as I've never read a full review of his work, not even with previous musical escapades with Miss Black America... which probably makes my job easier in many respects. Research is shit anyway.
The music, sir? Well, what sets this particular collection of songs apart from other compared artists (as mentioned) is the feeling of inner city melancholy that echoes throughout, especially on tracks such as "A Charge To Keep", which sounds not dissimilar to The Open. Patrick's husky tones perfectly compliment the delicate acoustic arrangements that writhe around him, to create a strange sad, yet uplifting atmosphere.
A recurring theme is the confidence that Seymour has gained through Open Mouth. No more is the need for subtlety ("I will hold my tongue no more") which results in for more accomplished results. It's not as sickeningly political as the cover may suggest either (another key implement of the 'singer-songwriter tag') but lyrics such as "we crawl back over the ashes" should keep the emotional among us in check.
Perhaps the best thing about this record is that unlike so many other (for want of a better term) singer-songwriters, each song sounds different. All melodic in their own beautiful way, Patrick manages to keep the listener's ear throughout the whole 50+ minute duration with an array of stunning vocals and guitar playing that couldn't compliment the mood better- 'Castle Keep' is a euphoric highlight reaching a musical utopia many have failed to do in twenty or thirty year careers.
"My little empire - I'm happy being sad."