Album: Jason Collett, Reckon (Arts & Crafts)


Jason Collett is another in the line of great Canadian songwriters that stretches back to Cohen, Young, Mitchell and Robertson, his interest piqued here by the creeping depression afflicting his country.

There's an undercurrent of outrage in anti-banker tirades like "Don't Let the Truth Get to You" and "I Wanna Rob a Bank", but the pervasive mood is one of melancholy empathy for the downtrodden likes of "Miss Canada", reduced to hooking, and the protagonist of "Talk Radio", a hard-working fellow moved to the brink of violence by his collapsing life. The folksy settings are tinted with brooding strings and tearful pedal steel, adding colour to well-turned lines like Collett's description of a sailor as "Tempest tossed, with a temptress tuggin' on your harbourcoat".

Download: When the War Came Home; Where Things Go Wrong; Jasper Johns' Flag