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Patrick Park | Loneliness Knows My Name (Hollywood)
Expanding on the sketch-like nature of his 'Under the Unminding Skies' debut EP from earlier this year, Patrick Park comes across as someone who has developed tremendously over the course of no more than half a year. Retaining two of the songs from that EP, 'Loneliness Knows My Name' presents a far more developed artist altogether, Park's sordid tales of silent despair and longing for any kind of redemption referencing the American blue-collar rock tradition. But Park has a personal touch and loving simplicity that marks him out as much more than just another Springsteen copycat. At its most elaborate, 'Loneliness Knows My Name' is reminiscent of the early days of alt-country and punky Americana, poised somewhere between Son Volt and The Replacements. A more obvious reference may be Elliott Smith and the new generation of weary-eyed singer-songwriters romanticists. In any case, Park proves to be well beyond such reductive comparisons, standing apart as a unique artist just waiting to find his audience. With solid craftsmanship and a wonderful understanding of how to carry his songs across, this is one of the year's most captivating debut albums, and Park one of the more emphatic singer-songwriters to emerge as of late.

Stein Haukland
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003