For Canadian indie savants, 2007's Polaris Music Prize selection was something like the shot heard 'round the world: "Patrick Watson won over the Arcade Fire and Feist, eh? What's this aboot!? Surry, this is anarchy!" they roared (with more "ehs"—we condensed for space) and flounced their icy nylon leggings to the blogosphere to complain further. But Watson deserved those accolades and more for Close to Paradise, his gorgeous sophomore album of dense, wraithlike classical pop steeped in clever chamber melodies and brutal, unstoppable combustions. Wooden Arms, his latest, is even more impressively layered with all the strings and keys, piercing solar vocals, and expansions of a small circus—one that could still mop the floor with the Arcade... More >>>