Jack Breakfast The Escapers

This is the fourth album from Toronto, ON troubadour Breakfast, but his first since 2003. It's billed as the final instalment in his Lonely Ghost Trilogy. Based on the strength of this record, he is a seriously underappreciated artist. He terms this "a lonely hearted collection of hopeful lullabies," and there's a decidedly melancholy tone at work. Breakfast played all the instruments, and he uses piano, keyboards, cello and guitar to create gently atmospheric soundscapes that buttress the haunting nature of his voice. Breakfast isn't a conventionally "pretty" singer, but his slightly off-kilter, quivery vocals add a sense of emotional authenticity to his subtle, affecting songs. Comparison points might include peers Kevin Hearn and Chris Warren. Poetic lyrics and song titles aid his cause, as in "Back In Old Caribou Times" and the perceptive line, "this country is enormous and much too cold." The album was co-produced and recorded by James Paul at his studio, the Rogue, and the sonic quality is top-notch. Kudos for lovely artwork as well. This is a fine soundtrack for introspective winter nights. (Troubled Cat)