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Dean Watson - Unsettled CD (album) cover

UNSETTLED

Dean Watson

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.78 | 51 ratings

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CCVP
Prog Reviewer
4 stars For me, it is settled

Listening to Dean Watson's Unsettled for the last month came to be a really interesting oportunity for me to keep expanding my musical horizonts. That is because, over the past two years or so, I have been increasingly interested in jazz in general and the idea of listening to yet another interesting jazz album was too tempting for me to resist, specially due to Watson's offer of free music in exchange for my opinion about his music.

I must confess that listening to Unsettled for the firsts times were not like walking through a flowerbed in springtime. First, the song development makes sitting through the album somewhat confusing at times, considerably messing with the experience if you are not paying attention exclusevely to the music. It is not uncommon to find yourself wondering where did the artist want to go in this part and most times I simply cannot find an answer. It is as if, at times, the musical ideas were just sewed together. This problem can be clearly seen in the song DIP in particular, but it happens through most of the album.

Another problem that this album has is one that I have been frequently finding in albums released in the last decade: the song order. Despite its less than rare occurance, it never ceases to be somewhat troubling to listen to an album with an inconsistent song order. In this album's case, however, it appears that Dean Watson tried to balance out the good songs and the only average songs he had at hand by putting them one after the other like in this way: one good, one regular, one good, one regular and so on.

Wile that decision did make the album be very balanced (and thus far from being tiresome), it also made the bad characteristics of the weaker songs stand out like much more than they should, what is never a good thing.

Apart from those two big problems, I can't point out any other significant downside here. The instrumental work is spot on, it is really competent throughout the whole album and the production is also very well made, though it did made the instruments sound a bit muffled at times, specially the bass, but still light-years ahead of the terrible "loud" production that has haunted the music industry in the recent years.

There are a number of different music styles in Unsettle, what make the album varied keeps the music interesting and entertain for both the progressive rock and the jazz fan. The music ranges from very hard, heavy and straightforward songs, to standard jazz-rock improvisations, from the experimental restlessness to pastoral quiteness.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Dean Watson's Unsettled is, overall, a very decent debut album, though it could sure be a bit better. The songwriting do no dissappoint, the instrumental playing is very good and the production also can't let you down. The song development and order in which the songs are, however, do take its toll in the album's overall quality.

Taking all into consideration, the album's rating is 3.5, rounded to 4 in PA's rating system.

CCVP | 4/5 |

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