With the success of Closer to Paradise and Wooden Arms, Montreal-based Patrick Watson have decided to re-release their out-of-print debut, Just Another Ordinary Day. While the album shows the band's early signs of experimentation and maintains their air of mystery, it ultimately feels like an assortment of half-executed ideas.
Many of the album's tracks are piano-based ballads, with a warm and full sound strangely detached and inaccessible. The lengthy songs are largely musical meanderings with little direction or flow. "Woods" contains interesting instrumentation, but the vocal wailings grate. "Mary" plays it straight, resulting in a pleasant, jazzy shuffle. "Silent Night" is another highlight, a piano-based instrumental track hypnotically employing strings and drunken trumpets for nearly seven minutes.
The main problem with Just Another Ordinary Day is that it simply drags. At less than 10 tracks and about 45 minutes long, the album feels like it is padded at twice the length. The repetitive piano patterns and the overlapping vocal harmonizing sound like Watson are working out ideas or backdrops for future songs. Sticking with the band's later albums is the way to go -- they are far more melodic and focused -- because by the time Just Another Ordinary Day ends, you may have long forgotten it was even playing.