Jason Collett – Reckon album review

Does your conscience keep you up at night? wonders Jason Collett in “Don’t Let The Truth Get To You.” It’s but one of the many weighty questions Collett explores in his latest release Reckon.

Toronto native singer-songwriter Jason Collett’s love for songwriting dates back to his childhood years. With a musical career dating back to 1999—including brief membership in Canadian alternative band Bird, participating in Toronto’s indie music event dubbed Radio Mondays, and joining indie band Broken Social Scene—Collett’s career has covered quite some ground. Aside from his varied musical commitments, Collett went on to produce a number of solo albums, including Motor Motel Love Songs (2002), Idols of Exile (2005), Prodigals EP (2007), Here’s To Being Here (2008), To Wit To Woo EP (2010), Rat a Tat Tat (2010), and Pony Tricks (2010).

Collet’s 6th full-length album Reckon—produced by Howie Beck—was released on September 25th, 2012 under Arts & Crafts, with vinyl copies set to be released on October 9th, 2012. Its 15 tracks are a compilation of alternative country-folksy jingles that are as soothing to the ears as they are tinged with sadness. The gently acoustic “Talk Radio” calls to mind struggling families, bordering dangerously close to tearjerking emotion. The conceptually similar piano-backed “When The War Came Home” delivers equal emotion in the face of harsh realities. While “King James Rag,” “You’re Not The One and Only Lonely One” and “Black Diamond Girl” are praiseworthy upbeat tunes in a sea of sorrow, the humorously blunt “I Wanna Rob A Bank” takes the cake. I wanna know where did the money go, Collett sings, and something tells me he’s far from alone in his need for answers.

With its political undertones, the album clearly highlights Collett’s questioning of authority as well as his liberal inclinations. The mellow, alternative-country feel of Reckon generates a sense of intimacy and authenticity that is hard to remain indifferent to. Bittersweet though the honest struggles may be, at the very least, you’ll likely crack a smile when picturing a “Jesus-approved” bank robbery.

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