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In Need of Medical Attention

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Album Review

In Need of Medical Attention could be tossed off as Thrush Hermit unplugged, but Joel Plaskett — Hermit's former lead vocalist and primary songwriter — makes sure the similarities are minimal. He strips down his material to its most sparse and naked, and adds introspection and intimacy to his expressive yet simple songs. The low-quality production gives the recording a rough, rustic feel, which only adds to its allure. Laced with humor, yearning, regret, apathy, sarcasm, wit, and love, Plaskett's thoughts are courageously, confidently plunked down on this drowsy, somewhat awkward, and ultimately poignant album with nothing to hide or fear. The acoustic yet anthemic "Weigh It Down," the sparse but emotional "The News of Your Son," the country-tinged "I'd Rather Be Deadly Than Dead," and the title track are among the best songs, and "Goodbye Doctor" fades with the pretty, echoey lyric "a gentleman of God." (The album is in memory of Plaskett's late grandfather, a physician.) In Need of Medical Attention is ephemeral, heartfelt, and brave. It characterizes the thin and wiry Plaskett (who had health problems of his own in 1999) emotionally and physically in one recording: delicate but resilient, spare yet multilayered, and achingly honest.


Born: 18 April 1975

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Joel Plaskett is a Canadian singer, songwriter and musician whose music fuses the energetic melodies and hooks of power pop with the muscular strength of hard rock; as he once quipped, his music "combines the best of Big Star and Led Zeppelin." Born in Nova Scotia on April 18, 1975, Plaskett was raised in Halifax and he began making music in his early teens. In 1992, Plaskett formed the indie rock band Thrush Hermit with guitarist Rob Benvie, bassist Ian McGettigan and drummer Michael Catano. Plaskett...
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In Need of Medical Attention, Joel Plaskett
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