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Beatroute Magazine Reviews Ashtray Rock

Fully flexed, The Joel Plaskett Emergency releases their fifth and most vibrant album yet, displaying the musical intelligence of Plaskett. The album is constructed in a story format, starting with an Introduction of peculiar mixings, but once this has passed the tracks take off in perfect formation. Instrumentally, there is more prominence of digital sounds within the tracks than previous albums, especially on Fashionable People which is a nicely composed pop song comparable to Nowhere With You in its catchy beat.

On the first half of Ashtray Rock the musical style of the songs seems to progress in time, moving through the ages and the feeling of growing older, a definite theme within Plaskett’s lyrics. The high point of the album comes with Snowed In/Cruisin’. If there were ever a song to transcend Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Joel Plaskett Emergency have pulled it off here.

Continuing on in perfect story form there is a fall in the tempo and the lyrics move towards reflection to make you feel that a lesson has been learnt by that person who is growing older, and cleverly ending with the Outroduction*. Lyrically this album is transfixed in the coming of age tale of young Canadians mixed with some of the most brilliantly composed music from The Joel Plaskett Emergency to date.

This is a remarkable album.

by Brayden Unwin