Jason Collett: Rat a Tat Tat

Music Reviews Jason Collett
Jason Collett: Rat a Tat Tat

Toronto guitarist writes more happy-sad songs

If “happiness is for amateurs,” as Jason Collett sings on his fifth solo album, then this Broken Social Scenester has gone pro. Heavily steeped in ’70s classic and lite rock, Rat a Tat Tat may sound easygoing and vampy, but only because Collett knows there’s joy to be found in sad songs.

So the teenage-dream T. Rex strut of “Lake Superior” enhances rather than disguises its forlorn lyrics, and the upbeat hook of “The Slowest Dance” bolsters its sense of unfulfilled yearning. Collett may be playing to his record collection—“High Summer” unsuccessfully cribs a melody from Climax Blues Band’s “I Love You”—but he manages to allude heavily to other artists without losing his own idiosyncrasies. Chief among them is his syncopated jive-cadence delivery, like a reverbed Dylan playing a beatnik, which nearly sinks the jazzbo closer “Vanderpool Vanderpool” but injects some much-needed levity into the wintry “Winnipeg Winds.”

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