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Patrick Park
Everyone's In Everyone
Curb Appeal Records
www.patrickpark.net


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 for him.

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.

-Susan Frances


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