“Metaphor,” the opening track off Patrick Thomas’ new full-length, “Build Me a City,” demonstrates just about everything a listener should initially know about the Detroit-raised, New York-based singer-songwriter.

The song kicks off plucky and sweet, grows and expands, then finally explodes at the chorus, giving Thomas the chance to roar, “when your silence is when you’re most beautiful, when there’s nothing left to say,” over a straight-up do-wop set of backup vocals. And then Thomas brings it back down for another round of smart wordplay. Repeat as desired, until smiling.

With the single song, the man proves that he knows how to be sweet, brassy, loud, soft and, through it all, smart. (note: this is why I’ve been raving about this song and this guy for years now…). It is with that winning approach that Thomas works his way through the ten “City” tracks – the sweetness of “Last First Kiss” is followed by a drums-crashing, whiskey-soaked take on one-night stands in “All Night Long.” “Getaway” is a song that begs for a car and an open highway, while the quiet contemplation of “Fire Escape” roots the listener firmly to a single cast-iron city balcony (the lyric “at least I know just where Simon’s coming from” is a personal favorite).

While “Build Me a City” makes its way through music’s big abstracts: love, love lost and dreams, Thomas brings it back to reality for closer “Track Ten,” which reminds the listener that, for all his poetic and melodic abilities, Thomas is as busy navigating today’s tricky waters as his audience. It is a testament to Thomas’ ability that he is able to make a chorus of “I guess I’ll start living, guess I’ll start giving a shit” into an optimistic, clap-happy anthem for those focused on building cities of their own.

Patrick Thomas will celebrate “Build Me a City”s release with a show at Johnny D’s in Davis Square on Saturday, November 1, at 8 p.m. With Tim Blane.

Earlier: Have you met…Patrick Thomas? (Revelry)

Patrick Thomas website

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