When word first spread that East Coast singer/songwriter Joel Plaskett was releasing a triple album, we couldnâ€™t help wondering what the hell he was thinking, trying to pull this off in the single-oriented iPod era. Hell, even in the days of vinyl, few artists succeeded at this kind of ambitious undertaking.
Turns out our reservations were grossly misplaced; Plaskettâ€™s meditation on leaving home, getting homesick and returning to his roots is an incredibly strong collection. Thereâ€™s not a single dud in the 27 tracks. Recorded at home and featuring the singerâ€™s father, Bill Plaskett, quite prominently throughout, each disc has its own mood, sound and theme, but the package holds together brilliantly.Â
What makes this better than his previous solo outings is the immediacy and intimacy that recording at home afforded him. Itâ€™s as if he spent most of his time honing the songs and then recorded them quickly and casually. The resulting minimalism and rawness complements the concept beautifully â€“ and unpretentiously.
Top track:Â Wait, Wait, Wait
Joel Plaskett performs May 23 at Massey Hall.