With Hindsight Patrick Joseph has a first off on WoNo Magazine's blog; a review of a compilation. Hindsight is a sort of best of album that looks back on Joseph's career so far. Now that career is only two albums and two EPs under way, so that may seem a bit premature. It isn't as with Hindsight Patrick Joseph gives the listener a beautiful cross-section of his repertoire in a new setting.
Patrick Joseph and I go back to the pre-blog days when there only was a WoNo Magazine. He had put an album, 'Antiques', for free on one or another website, which I reviewed for the magazine after downloading. After that I found his EP 'Foot In The Door' on another website, after which I bought 'Moon King' when it was released in 2014. Now there is Hindsight, with several familiar and a few less familiar songs.
Things Patrick Joseph start with his voice. Slightly hoarse, masculine, serious, present. A voice that I really love to hear singing. The music is just as serious. There is not a lot of sunshine in the music as such. I even have the idea that when the sun threatens to break through, Patrick Joseph gets up quickly to close the curtains, firmly shut. Not that the songs as such are too dark or born from depression. My guess is far from. They are just very serious, with a deep melancholy undertone. Making music is a serious business that calls for contemplation.
From there beauty grows. Patrick Joseph calls himself an songsmith and I can't but agree with him. Is it possible that there is a single note on Hindsight that was not tried out many times and the result of a long process of trial and error? I just don't think so. All the songs are built up intricately. From the foundation upwards sounds are added one by one until there's a full mix.
Who to compare him to? The only name that pops up into my head is NYC singer-songwriter Steve Waitt, another songsmith. For the rest my mind stays empty. Not so much from what I hear is totally unique, no, it's because Patrick Joseph's voice doesn't allow any other names in. In the sense that he musically fits in nicely in the west coast pop/rock tradition that goes back several decades, but found his own unique voice in the process.
Yes, the music is extremely neat, very well taken care of, without anything sticking out that could hurt my ears in any way. In this case it's a compliment. My only complaint is that after two years I would have preferred to hear some new songs instead of ones that I already know. That is compensated by this new collection of existing songs that remind me of how good Patrick Joseph is. Is there any other reason to write a review of compilation album? (And then I remember writing about Grrrr, The Rolling Stones umptieth greatest hits record.)
There is a live rendition of 'Such A Long Time Ago' on Hindsight. In the solo things do go off the rails. A bit to my surprise. It is as if Dave Gonzales of The Paladins rips the song apart, while everything around him remains quiet. Wailing on his Gretsch guitar like there never will be another tomorrow. The contrast with the rest of the song and the final one, 'Setting Sun', is just huge, thus so memorable. And that final song? Pure beauty it is.
From the piano songs that open Hindsight, the soft rocking songs, to the ballads at the end, it shows the songwriting skills of this singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. Someone the world should get to know better. Together with Shane Alexander he is my favourite singer-songwriter from Los Angeles today.
Of course not all my favourite songs are found on Hindsight. Such is the way of compilations. The good thing is that you, dear reader, can buy his older records for just $5,- US. The cost-benefit ratio is simply stunning, you'll find. Go ahead, try it out. I've provided the link for you below.
You can listen to and buy Patrick Jospeh's albums here: