Jason Collett Idols of Exile

Jason Collett Idols of Exile
It’s been about three years since Collett’s last album, but there’s been a good reason for the delay — namely the esteemed collective of Broken Social Scene. And just like other BSS member’s solo ventures, a bunch stop by to help out, including Metric’s Emily Haines on "Hangover Days” and Stars’ Amy Millan on "Fire.” But let’s not dwell not that formidable band, as this is Collett’s time to shine, and he makes the most of it. Exuding a warmth and confidence, Idols of Exile is a wonderfully easy listen that touches on straight-up rock, some traditional country and roots-y moments, even heading into to some noodley BSS territory with "Tinsel and Sawdust.” The passionate "Brownie Hawkeye” shows a great tender side to Collett’s voice, ably helped out by some strong trumpet and trombone backing, while "Feral Republic” gets the body moving with its catchy-as-hell guitar and country feel. Live favourite "I’ll Bring the Sun” will easily bring people in with its anthemic chorus and upbeat feel. Without seemingly breaking a sweat, Jason Collett has fashioned an eminently listenable and brilliantly summery album. Chalk up another solo triumph to add to that already bursting BSS mantelpiece.

The title "Idols of Exile” brings a feeling of yearning — was that the intention? I’ve had the title kicking around for a while and wasn’t sure about using it, but it just wouldn’t go away. As a writer, I sort of learned to trust my gut on things. I can’t intellectualise it too much, but I definitely like the texture and, for me, yeah, it conjures up images of a longing for something that isn’t there. It made me nervous using the word "idols,” but I didn’t think about it till afterwards, ’cause it’s a word tossed around in our culture so much now.

If someone states there’s a real Broken Social Scene feeling to this record, would this be warranted? Absolutely, but in the sense that it’s the spirit of the family of people and the way that we’re working. In our camp, there’s been a friendly sort of, I don’t know how to put it. It’s not competition and it’s not one-upmanship, but there’s an energy about what’s going on that makes you want to do your best work. It’s inspiring. I don’t really belong to any particular scene and I think of myself as quite fortunate to end up as a part of this whole scene, because it’s made me better at what I do, because of what’s rubbed off. (Arts & Crafts)