Published Feb 03, 2016Jason Collett's new LP, Song and Dance Man, has such a thoroughly anachronistic feel to it that it's jarring to hear the former Broken Social Scene man sing about SXSW and tweeting on it. Part of that vintage veneer can be attributed to producer Afie Jurvanen, of Bahamas fame — who also offers up warmly, sticky-fingered bass playing for this project — but that bygone aesthetic is also rooted in Collett's writing and, even more so, in his performing.
Tracks like "Long Day's Shadow" have groaning guitar work and breezy vocals that evoke George Harrison at his most wistful, while the lumbering rhythm section of "Black Oak Savanna" owes a debt to CCR. Then there's the title track, on which Collett's sly vocal swagger evokes a youthful Tom Petty, as the punchy drum and bass echo a long lost Wings B-side. "Where Did Our Love Go?" starts with pitter-patter drums and guitar strumming that reside squarely at the intersection of E Street and Asbury Park. On it, Collett addresses the '70s head on, before lamenting lost love and sex. The title track, meanwhile, is a fierce critique of a modern music industry that marginalizes its talent. Even the first lines of the opening track, "Provincial Blues," ruminate on days when urban living was affordable.
By paying joyous musical homage to the '70s greats while also singing about what we ought to reclaim from that bygone era, Jason Collett has given Song and Dance Man a quality that's both timely and timeless. (Arts & Crafts)