July 8, 2010
I’m not afraid to admit Jason Collett is in the top three of my favourite Broken Social Scene members, not just because I have a feeling we were born in the same hospital and thus possibly are of similar mindsets. His songs reflect an unabashed ability to sing about real things, not necessarily coated with pretty words, but always with heart, soul and conviction. His latest release Rat A Tat Tat falls nicely into his collection of solo work without straying too far stylistically from previous releases and is possibly his best to date.
It harnesses a vintage feel, with swooning, nostalgia that extends into his album art, including a gorgeous lyric booklet designed to look like aged playing cards filled with all kinds of interesting art. “Lake Superior” has a smoky, sexy feel with anxious drums, 70s-style guitars and a subtle feeling of being up to no good. Poetically, “Love is A Dirty Word” is an instant standout, with brilliant recollections of Shakespeare intertwined with an honest narrative of the confusing architecture of love, with track “Long May You Love” a steady contender. Collett tosses in one of his overtly sexual, somehow seductive tracks in “High Summer,” but laces it with class and a mature youthfulness this time.
From opening track “Rave On Sad Songs” to the bluesy, Dylan-esque closers “Winnipeg Winds” and “Vanderpool, Vanderpool,” Rat A Tat Tat is filled with great song after great song. It strays away from guest vocals from other BSS-ers, instead drawing inspiration from numerous literary references including Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbot and Where the Air is Clear by Carlos Fuentes, allowing Collett to shine brightly throughout the album. Beautiful and intricate, this is an album you can listen to on repeat for hours.
TTTT (out of 5)