There was one a time you couldn’t find Joel Plaskett’s music outside of Canada. And even after his name and his music started to become popular, his stuff has still been relatively hard to find. We think that’s a real shame and hope those days are coming to an end.
Today we look at Joel Plaskett’s new triple-length album, appropriately titled, “Three.” It’s a record with enough solid new material, refreshing experimentation and catching riffs that we think most will find this a worthy addition to their music collections.
Once Plaskett decided to go with the concept of Three, the references flew fast and furious throughout his songs: among them a “1-2-3” count and a “3-2-1” countdown in the same song (in fact, within two lines of each other); “Good things come in threes”; several allusions to “33-1/3” (his age at the time of recording); and that he worked on 33 songs for the project.
Three is in many way, classic Plaskett. It’s a mish-mash of styles and completely authentic. So while there’s a drum machine and a general rock feeling to songs like “Wishful Thinking,” you can also find a more pop presentation to, “Deny, Deny, Deny.” (Plaskett slows things down a bit more for the acoustic presentation for “New Scotland Blues.” The slow paced, “Heartless, Heartless, Heartless” is an emotive masterpiece with beautiful guitar.)
Plaskett also explores some brand new sounds this time out (you can do a lot of new things on a triple album), like the penny whistles on “Sailor’s Eyes,” the dry pedal steel guitar on “Every Time You Leave Me Alone,” and the soulful horns on the album’s first single, “Through & Through & Through.”
Joel Plaskett – Through & Through & Through
Utlimately though, things always end up returning to Plaskett’s alt-country, roots-heavy core. (Listen to core… “Pine, Pine, Pine.” – it’s a track that could have come from any of his earlier albums.) It’s a time-proven equation that works again here.
Looking ahead, Plaskett stands to win a slew of new awards for this effort when the East Coast Music Awards are handed out in March. He is up for; Entertainer of the Year, FACTOR Recording of the Year (for Three), bMale Solo Recording of the Year (for Three), Single of the Year (for Through & Through & Through), Single of the Year (for You Let Me Down), SOCAN Songwriter of the Year (for Through & Through & Through), and Pop Recording of the Year (for Three.)
Anyone who has seen Plaskett live, (we sadly missed him recently in Boston but have vowed to catch him somewhere on tour in 2010) will tell you that Joel’s best skill is his personal performances known to bring down houses. We love the ambition of the triple album project – it’s an expensive, risky endeavor, but one that will doubtlessly end up with Plaskett scoring new fans. Get in on this… “Three” is One of the Best Records of the Year.