Idols of Exile marks a powerful move forward for Collett; a summary of his time spent juggling a burgeoning solo career and a family, all the while honing his song craft touring the world with Broken Social Scene. The album features performances from many of Jason's closest friends; including most of the Broken Social Scene (Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff) and extended Broken Social Scene; Metric's Emily Haines and James Shaw; Stars' Amy Millan and Evan Cranley; Apostle Of Hustle's Andrew Whiteman and Julian Brown; Do Make Say Think's Charles Spearin; and Feist. EMI. 2006.
Broken Social Scene guitarist Jason Collett would sound altogether like a cross-hatch between Jayhawks Gary Louris and Marc Olsen here if it weren't for his BSS education in altered musical settings. He twirls up a fantastic alt country set of tunes, even without his stacked deck of bandmembers. There are contingents from Stars, Metric, and Do Make Say Think here, and Collett still sounds nothing like any of those bands. The ensemble is beautifully paced, slow and deliberate, best heard on "Parry Sound," where they wheeze and drift as if knowingly aimless. They float throughout Collett's solo set through curtains of suggestion provided by hinted rhythms, gauzy guitar, and dustblown ride cymbals. Psychedlia serves them well, with warpy results, nearly all acoustic, that never jump the folksy train completely. It's a gently delirious mix, and for his part, Collett has a vocal delivery that pinches out the words, giving phrases a depth of feeling that's sometimes lost amid BSS's abstract excursions. Even so, you have to love the Cure-style riff on "I'll Bring the Sun," a blissy bit that rides through the brain effortlessly. It should be a summer gem for any season. --Andrew Bartlett