Jason Collett

Reckon

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More than a few American songwriters have been weighing in on the troubled state of the nation in the election year of 2012, and Jason Collett (best known for his work with Broken Social Scene) confirms similar anxieties are brewing north of the border in Canada as he takes a long, hard look at North American malaise on his album Reckon. As the Occupy movement poses questions about global economic equality, Collett takes a jaunty but pointed look at the lives of the haves versus the have-nots in "I Wanna Rob a Bank," while the exploitation of Third World peoples for their minerals and jewels is an undercurrent in "Black Diamond Girl," the economic and environmental impact of oil exploration informs "Miss Canada," "Talk Radio" is a brief but affecting look at one man watching the world and the culture he knows crumbling around him, and the troubling state of the world as summarized in "When the War Came Home" and "Don't Let the Truth Get to You." Politics isn't all Collett has on his mind on Reckon, but there are plenty of other signs here of a world where ethics are in short supply -- the unfaithful husband of "Ask No Questions," the oblique musings on patriotism in "Jasper Johns' Flag," the lover's lament of "You're Not the One and Only Lonely One," and a lifetime of disappointment hovering in the air in "When Things Go Wrong." Collett doesn't rant on Reckon, and the subdued tone of this music hardly makes it sound like a call to arms, but he's more than capable of making himself heard without shouting, and the artful dynamics of the music reinforce the intelligent disdain of the music. If Collett sometimes sounds like he's viewing these events from a distance, he sees some details the folks in the thick of the action might have missed, and Reckon is a statement that hits hard (and close to home) if you'll give it a careful listen.

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