Jeremy Fisher Goodbye Blue Monday

This Hamilton-born, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter raised eyebrows some years back when he became one of the few Canadian folk-rooted artists to sign to a major label here (Sony Music Canada). Prior to that, he grabbed media attention by cycling coast to coast to support his 2001 indie debut, Back Porch Spirituals (whatever happened to hopping freight trains?). His Sony debut, Let It Shine, clearly didn’t meet label expectations but Fisher has found a new home on Aquarius. He’s recruited some high-calibre talent, in the form of producer/multi-instrumentalist Hawksley Workman and accompanist Jim Bryson. Goodbye Blue Monday is a nice enough offering but no song here matches the best work of those two writers. It’s a little too easy to play spot the influence with Fisher. The opening cut, "Scar That Never Heals,” starts with a riff that sounds a lot like Neil Diamond’s "Cherry Cherry,” followed by vocals that are almost pure Paul Simon. The closing song, "Fall For Anything,” is marred by the fact that its central lines, "If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything,” are already cliché. Fisher does have a pleasingly warm voice and a flair for melody, while the instrumentation and production work is solid. Let’s hope he digs a little deeper for something more original next time out. (Aquarius)