Jason Collett, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


If you pay attention to indie rock just north of the States, then you already know about Jason Collett and probably have your mind already made up about whether this belongs in your collection. If you don't, you've hopefully at least heard the name Broken Social Scene in passing; Broken Social Scene is a highly influential Canadian outfit who are on par with The Weakerthans as far as having an immeasurable impact on their fans. Collett is an integral member of the group and has parlayed his connections with the band into a prolific solo career, now with five albums to his credit. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

We're all well aware of the economic, political and environmental strife that's seemingly more abundant with each passing day; Collett is equally in tune with this, and Reckon pays much attention to his view of those problems in an eloquent and articulate manner. “Black Diamond Girl” focuses on the advantage being taken of indigenous populations for their resources. “Miss Canada” addresses the ramifications of oil mining. Other tracks like “Don't Let The Truth Get To You” are less specific, instead mulling over the often-bleak state of the world. However, it's not all politics here. “Ask No Questions” takes a look at infidelity and “When Things Go Wrong” provides a soundtrack for those times when it seems like all your efforts are futile.

Musically, Collett walks a path cut from the same cloth as Bob Dylan, The Jayhawks, or even more recent stars like Iron & Wine. While this is most certainly a protest record, the music is so graceful and beautiful that it's easy to forget the wordplay is so often fueled by disdain for the status quo. “Pacific Blue” shines with calm plucking and country-ish tones. “I Want To Rob A Bank” bleeds a breezy reggae vibe, a track that stands out among the rest due to this influence. While much of this runs parallel to the acoustic guitar centered “Talk Radio,” “My Daddy Was A Rock 'N’ 'Roller” is another anomaly and one of the louder moments here, a '70s rock spirited jam. The album closes on "When The War Came Home," a soulful Americana track that would make Jeff Tweedy proud and is a fitting end to an album with so much warm, thoughtful, and rustic grace.

Although I'm probably in the minority when I say that I enjoy Collett's solo work more than his albums with Broken Social Scene, there's no doubt that he's one of the most talented songwriters that exists today. If you're interests reside anywhere between Wilco and Lucero, you'll appreciate this.

Rating: A

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