Since the release of his second album, 2003's Motor Motel Love Songs, singer/songwriter Jason Collett has kept himself busy writing and recording with his music family in Broken Social Scene. In the midst of completing and releasing their self-titled masterpiece in 2005, Collett resumed his solo career. Idols of Exile picks up where the bittersweet melodies of Motor Motel Love Songs left off. Album opener "Fire" sets the mood with its laid-back acoustic guitars and golden-toned harmonies. Collett sweetly sings, "The good morning comes like a hit and run." Despite his words packing such a punch from the start, these songs are much more relaxed and inviting. Having his friends in tow -- singer/songwriter Leslie Feist, Emily Haines, and James Shaw (Metric), Evan Cranley and Amy Millan (Stars), Andrew Whiteman (Apostle of Hustle), Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene), and Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think) -- adds to the warm spirit of Idols of Exile. It's a day-driving kind of record, alt-country melodies sun-soaked in lush soundscapes of social merrymaking, broken hearts, and pink skylines. From the slow dance of "Almost Summer" and Haines' wispy vocals of "Hangover Days" to the more playful clap-along of "I'll Bring the Sun" and "Feral Republic," Idols of Exile isn't much different from what Collett has done with Broken Social Scene in the way that it is an honest and decent record. It is a more stripped-down affair compared to Broken Social Scene's more ambitious material, so fans of the band or those fond of the Arts & Crafts label should enjoy Idols of Exile.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson