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Jason Collett: Idols of Exile

Jason Collett: Idols of Exile (Arts & Crafts)

With its massive, ever-shifting lineup, Canadian indie rock colossus Broken Social Scene has not only taken on a life their of their own as a one of the most influential bands making records but shone a light on some of the True North’s finest talent. Part of the spark is that BSS’ membership is a multifaceted pool of musician artists who seem to have this innate, organic sense to create. The band is never a full-time job either. The members have fulfilling musical lives outside of the band. That leads me to the latest from Jason Collett. This is Collett’s first record since the plaintive troubadour musings Motor Hotel Love Songs as well as the first since BSS found wide, international success. While Broken Social Scene fixtures appear across Idols, including central figures Kevin Drew and Brendan Caning as well as Emily Haines, Amy Millan and Feist, this is all about Collett. As a solo, Collett tends to eschew the BSS “pile it on” style of orch-pop for a simplified, laid-back roots approach to songs. That’s not to say that Idols shrugs off great arrangements. The bright pop of “I’ll Bring the Sun” finds mid-ground between Beach Boys and BSS, while “Tinsel and Sawdust” is a visceral, unrefined bit of beauty. Collett ultimately wins because he has that certain, hard-to-define singer/songwriter deftness and can deliver half-smiling self-loathing, as in the country rock of “Pink Night.”

Jason Collett supports Sam Roberts Band this Saturday, November 25 at Town Ballroom.