Bob Wiseman It's True

The title phrase comes from a love song here; it conveniently rhymes with "I was born to love you.” But it’s also what you can hear Wiseman saying after he relates one of his tragically sad stories of 32-year-old cancer victims, fading stars, sleazeball record company executives and long lost friends that are now shells of their former selves. "It’s true!” Even though you wish it wasn’t, because the sorrow is too much to bear. Or in the case of "Cousin Dave” — a mildly amusing yet horribly dated rant about David Geffen that’s been an awkward live favourite for years — because it’s a bit ridiculous for both the storyteller and the subject. Wiseman’s first album in seven years (!) comes after he laid off his most recent band and whipped off these 30 minutes of music with producer/Torontopian guru Steve Kado. The ten songs are hardly his best collection, although "Uranium” is particularly striking, and "Fluke of World” provides some much-needed comic relief. Aesthetically, it’s Wiseman’s most deliciously raw recording, sounding like he’s either in your living room or throwing all his Radio Shack keyboards down your back steps. Wiseman can sometimes be his own worst enemy when it comes to production (1995’s Accidentally Acquired Beliefs being the prime example), so it’s refreshing to hear him work with such expediency. He’s been sorely missed. Surely we’ll hear from him again before 2011. (Blocks)