music journalist since 1992 teacher since 2004 blogger since 2012 podcaster since 2020
Reviewed for Under The Radar Magazine:
Jason Collett Reckon/Essential Cuts (Arts and Crafts)
Canadian Jason Collett exemplifies Mountie country music, which is its own brand of alt.country. On his latest, Reckon, Collett uses instruments sparingly. That, coupled with his clear tones is too simplistic a combination. Collett goes deep into the lonesome strummer role, just him and his guitar, singing about the most mundane of everyday topics. Case in point, “Talk Radio.” When Collett pulls in some more sound sources and puts some snarl into his voice, such as on “You’re Not The One And Only Lonely One,” is when he starts becoming interesting. He goes a little Richard Ashcroft with sonic layers on “Where Things Go Wrong.” But his take on Springsteen ends up too much like Tom Petty on “My Daddy Was A Rock ‘n’ Roller,” which doesn’t help matters. Unfortunately, most of Reckon is of the dusty cowboy boot variety. But the everyman-ness of the sentiments, its very basic-ness, is the appeal of most country music. Reckon comes enhanced with a gratis second disc of “greatest hits” entitled Essential Cuts where Collett shows off all his famous Canadian musician friends. Featuring low-impact collaborations with Metric, Stars, Bahamas, among others, Cuts doesn’t justify purchase of Reckon.