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Here's to Being Here

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Jason Collett took a break from Broken Social Scene in 2005, choosing instead to focus on the promotion of Idols of Exile alongside his backing band, Paso Mino. Here's to Being Here arrives three years later, featuring a slimmed-down lineup (only Paso Mino and a small handful of guests lend their help) and an emphasis on dusty, '70s AM radio songcraft. Bob Dylan's raspy vocals and slow enunciations are an obvious influence here, but Collett's willingness to mix straightforward Americana with genre-bending experiments is more akin to a pre-Subtitulo Josh Rouse. These 12 songs are lightly embellished with pianos, handheld percussion, harmonicas, and multiple guitars, resulting in an organic mix that sounds worlds apart from the bombastic racket of Broken Social Scene. If that band's ethereal noise seeks to elevate the audience, then Here's to Being Here works at keeping the listener grounded in the highways, farms, and fields of Collett's image-heavy lyrics. He paints pictures like a storyteller, mapping out his songs with the names of roads and characters. And when Collett decides to truly relax, as he does on the mischievous "Out of Time," the results make for some of the disc's best moments. High-pitched coos gatecrash the song's chorus like they've just been kicked out of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," and a harmonized keyboard solo injects a bit of the Steve Miller Band into an otherwise minimalist, Southern-styled slow jam. Such unexpected moves seem to be a new thing for Collett, and they combine to make this his strongest solo effort yet.


Né(e) : Bramalea, Ontario, Canada

Genre : Alternative

Années d’activité : '90s, '00s, '10s

Toronto native Jason Collett has earned accolades for his solo albums and tenure with several different bands — most notably Broken Social Scene — but it was his association with fellow songwriter Andrew Cash that first garnered him critical acclaim. After performing in the Andrew Cash Band during the late '80s and early '90s, Collett joined up with Ursula, an alternative rock spinoff of Cash's previous group. The band toured Canada and opened up for acts such as the Odds, but after several...
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Here's to Being Here, Jason Collett
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