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Jokes and Trials

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Album Review

What immediately grabs the listener on Ned Collette's debut record is his overwhelmingly familiar, likable voice. This applies both to his literary voice—the exact lyrical mood of a casual ode to friendship like "Song for Louis"—and also his actual voice, a big, loping, throaty baritone that fills in the blank spaces of these austere songs like sunshine through an empty house. This is a friendly and remarkably endearing record, with a surplus of the sort of casual intimacy that greenhorn singer-songwriters typically eschew in favor of esoterica or melodrama. One does not really want much more than Collette and a guitar here, and one does not get it. The few embellishments thereupon—graceful percussion in the album's final moments, a bounding synth solo on "Boulder"—show the sort of instrumental intuitiveness Collette would exhibit more comprehensively on his follow-up record. Here, though, nothing obstructs the listener's engagement with the singer, creating a spare but fitting place to get to know someone.


Born: 06 September 1979 in Carlton, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A singer and songwriter whose literate, evocative songs are paired with music that's both adventurous and eclectic, Ned Collette was born in Carlton, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, on September 6, 1979. Collette grew up learning the power of both music and words -- his father was an operatic baritone before becoming director of a respected Australian opera company, while his mother was a writer who also taught college-level English. Collette attended Melbourne's Victorian College of the Arts,...
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