reviewed by Anna Alger
Veteran singer-songwriter on the Toronto indie scene, Jason Collett, has returned with a charming new collection of songs which are laid back and witty. His delicate guitar heavy rock edges into the territory of country without sounding cliché, straddling solid middle ground between genres. Ever the storyteller, Collett’s songs on Song and Dance Man are full of personality.
Song and Dance Man features a variety of musical flavours, swinging from the humorous thump of “Provincial Blues” to the upbeat country tinged riffs of “Love You Babe.” Collett is a strong lyricist, seen in amusing lines such as this one from “Provincial Blues”: “You came from Alberta, you said Toronto’s not so bad. I took it as a compliment, but I couldn’t think of a compliment back.” Thematically, much of the tracks on Song and Dance Man deal with aging and some of the new realities Collett has encountered in today’s music scene. In the jangling title track, he quips that, “if you can tweet something brilliant, you’ve got a marketing plan.”
The latter half of Song and Dance Man slows down, letting Collett’s vocal harmonies with Neil Quinn of Zeus stand out on songs such as “Singing American,” while “Black Oak Savanna” features clear lap steel guitar amid layers of percussion and acoustic strumming. There is a comfortable, languid feeling to songs on the record such as “Nobody’s Fool” and “It Don’t Matter Anymore,” reminding listeners that no one else performs with the ease and sleight of hand of Collett.
Top Tracks: “Song and Dance Man,” “Provincial Blues,” “Singing American”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)