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The Coast Reviews Three

Sure as the heart is a muscle made up of chambers, valves and arteries, beating in all our chests, there will be artists singing from, of and to the hearts-symbolic in all of us. Before you groan, give a listen to Joel Plaskett’s Three.

Each of the three discs clocks in around 30 minutes. Over the course of them, the tall man tells a story of going, being gone and going back—pausing to consider the associated joy, melancholy and sadness and the tension of staying to stand ground or searching out beyond Nova Scotia. At last, the artist draws on his tripartite form: the punchy troubadour heard on the horn-pecked “Through & Through & Through,” from disc one and the perky pop of “Deny, Deny, Deny” on disc three. The acoustic balladeer sings us into stillness, silence, as on “Heartless, Heartless, Heartless” from disc two; and the roots-rock romantic on “Sailors Eyes,” with its east coast folk motifs; the moody electronic beat of “In the Blue Moonlight,” both from disc two, and the spilling closer on the third, “On & On & On.”

Rose Cousins and Ana Egge, who staggered with an In the Dead of Winter set in February, sing harmonies and responses and complete the conversational storytelling that is this fine, defining album.

by Sean Flinn