Despite his bandmate Rebecca Taylor releasing solo material under the guise of Self Esteem before he stepped out on his own, Charles Watson has beaten his Slow Club comrade in being the first to produce a solo album, and it definitely seems a world away from his time in the band. Opting for a more subdued direction, 'Now That I'm A River' certainly feels more like a solo outing, given that there just seems to be something a little lacking in its sound.
Not saying that this new release is anything bad, but there just seems to be a more minimal and emptied feel to this record. From the start, we are treated a humbled sense of production that never really gives up but also has trouble finding itself at times. And while the odd ear-pricking single like 'Abandoned Buick' scatter the release throughout, much of it seems to have had far less attention paid to it, making for a not very succinct collection.
While Watson's adventures into the world of psych-pop are still applauded on this debut release, too much of the record seems flat by comparison. This just seems like one of those albums with a handful of great singles with too much filler in-between.