Published Jan 28, 2008Employing looseness in the studio does wonders for Jason Collett, as Heres to Being Here benefits from the lively spontaneity of his band, Paso Mino. A stylish storyteller, Collett weaves clever wordplay together for a fine batch of songs that suit his sly romantic leading mans voice. With phrasing and inflection belying a lifetime of listening to Bob Dylan, Collett lets imagery spill out of his mouth with refreshing abandon, adapting ideas to suit mid-tempo folk arrangements such as "Roll On Oblivion, the seedy 70s style dance rock of "Out of Time and the carefree power pop of "Paper Cut Hearts. A similar sense of liberation exists in the musical arrangements, as Collett and Paso Mino harness the energetic live show theyve been honing for years. As such, a focus on electric guitar propels the second half of "Henrys Song and the mighty, almost symphonic swells of "Not Over You. There are also gentle, riff-oriented hooks, such as the playful nod to George Harrisons "If Not for You slide part on "Sorry Lori, or the lovely pickin on "No Redemption Song. Though spare compared to his gig in Broken Social Scene, Heres to Being Here is Colletts most uninhibited record yet.
Why focus on guitars here?
In the past, Ive shied away from electric guitars because it can be a bit of a crutch. This time, I didnt try to control it at all and just did it naturally, but its smaller, old school, riff-y guitars, like Keith Richards. Its tasteful and respectful of space.
Did Bob Dylan inspire these songs?
Hes been the biggest influence on me ever since I was young. The largest influence for me that shows up on this record and past ones is Dylans sense of humour. Ive always really loved that most about him; hes not very precious.
Does being in Broken Social Scene affect your solo work?
Ive taken a fair amount from our spontaneity in what I do, which is more of an exercise in space, whereas the Social Scene thing is about sonic density. I bring a certain grounding influence to them; Im the worst guitar player of the bunch but the only one who really plays chords. Ive also taken from the free spirit of that experience, but both are about being as present as possible. (Arts & Crafts)