Album: Patrick Watson, Wooden Arms, (Secret City Records)

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The Independent Culture

Winners – ahead of Arcade Fire, no less – of Canada's equivalent to the Mercury Prize, Patrick Watson (it's both a band and a person) follow up 2007's Close to Paradise with another crystal clear collection.

The problem here, is that while there's ne'er a clatter of Waits-like percussion or a sweep of strings out of place, the album closes and you're no closer to knowing what kind of band Patrick Watson want to be. It's a musical tasting menu – all attention-grabbing foams with not enough to sink your teeth into.

Pick of the album: The title song is all the better for playing it straight