Toronto singer-songwriter Jason Collett is concerned with the reception of his new album, Reckon, which is being touted by his publicists as a collection of “political songs.” And so interviewers have been peppering him with questions on his topical material (written and recorded during the early days of Occupy), even to the point where they find protests in songs that actually comment on nothing, save for loneliness. “The biography we put out is crucial for a lot of records,” says Collett, an agile, melodically inclined artist. “You’re essentially writing the review for a lot of lazy journalists. You have to spoon-feed them a few lines or else they get it so wrong.”
His point is well-taken; there is a breadth to a record that very well might be his best yet. And, it must be said, the album’s non-topical material is the strongest. You’re Not the One and Lonely One is spry funk rock from the school of the Stones’ Miss You. The hazy shimmer of Where Things Go Wrong wraps itself around you like a warm codeine hug. And the wistful Pacific Blue contemplates like Lightfoot.
“I’ve battled the stigma of being a roots rocker forever,” says Collett, 45, a pigeon-hole resister. “But it’s not the whole story. You’re always trying to broaden people’s reception of what you do.”
He makes his point, then, protesting just enough.
Editor's Note: You’re Not the One and Only Lonely One is a song on Jason Collett's new album. Incorrect information in an earlier version of this story has been corrected.