Singer-songwriter Patrick Park might be new to most people,
but this bard has been serious about songwriting since the mid-'90s
when he played in local bands in his hometown of Morrison, Colorado
before becoming a solo artist in 1998. Once you get to know Park's
music and lyrics, you may notice that his minstrels have similar country-folk
registers to Joan Osborne and Brett Dennen, and lyrical
themes with an uncanny perception that pierces into human emotions
carrying reflections of numerous artists like Eleni Mandell,
John Vanderslice, and Neil Young, but for Park all of
his songs are completely brand new awakenings.
His third album Everyone's In Everyone is his debut on Curb
Appeal Records. Previously, he self-released a CD called The Basement
Tapes which caught the attention of record producer David Trumfio
(Wilco, OK GO), who produced Park's sophomore album
Loneliness Knows My Name from Hollywood Records in 2003. Park's
blend of Americana mists with prairieland bluegrass and folk art-pop
won him praises from critics, but not among the masses. It's a pattern
which he shares with modern country/folk-pop artist Mindy Smith.
But unlike Smith, who pursued her endeavors in Nashville, Park ventured
off to Los Angeles, California and everything just started to happen
His song "Life's A Song" from Everyone's In Everyone
is featured in the finale of the TV series The O.C. which portrayed
the mood of the show with a melody that has alluring coffeehouse acoustics
framed in prairieland bluegrass/Americana dews and seamed by bars
of Park whistling along to the tune like a merry elf. Many of Park's
songs rotate at the pace of a merry-go-round ride and have the sophisticated
pop esthetics of Cary Brothers as shown in the tunes "Arrive
Like A Whisper" and "Here We Are." The instrumentation
has chamberlain-folk textures with a down to earth feel bordered by
a dreamy-noir ambience, which especially shows up in the melody "Pawn
Shop." The modern country tints in the chorus flourishes and
the bluesy-soaked atmospherics of "Nothing's Lost" promulgate
a languid swinging motion for listeners to lean their heads against
and feel consoled.
The country wrapped acoustics of "Stay With Me Tomorrow"
display slight trembles in the acoustic guitar strums propped by willowy
rhythms. The series have a likeness to Matt Costa, while the
modern folk landscapes of "Time For For Moving On" are wicked
by rustic features archetypical of Brandi Carlile. The slowly
rolled country-folk sequences of "Saint With A Fever" and
"One Body Breaks" have a bluegrass shading relatable to
Nickel Creek and the Americana flutters in the country presses
of "There's A Darkness" and the title track are carefully
foiled with sheer tenderly in the delicate ministrations.
The title track is the focal point from which all the other lyrics
branch off of and return to at the end of the album. Park proclaims
in the song, "We see the world through tired eyes/ We're lost
and we are found/ And we're saved and depraved/ We are poor and
rich/ And we assure that it's of love that we are made/ As everyone's
in everyone." The song has a poetic versing which Park credits
that quality to his mother who is an accredited poet. It is one
of the only songs that show a duality about life, as most of his
lyrics depict one side of an argument or a situation.
Patrick Park's songs immortalize his past experiences while unfolding
the riddles of life which is the part of him that is being awakened
and exposed. It is something which music fans have experienced with
Sufjan Stevens, and for them, it is a "been there/done
that" moment making Park's music too late for the party and too
early for the next one. His timing might seem skewed, but lots of
great happenings occur in between those climatic moments where being
in the right place at the right time makes a difference.
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