Thursday, March 19, 2015

Joel Plaskett: "The Park Avenue Sobriety Test" (album review)

Joel Plaskett has never really had a monster album, but he can be counted on to routinely put out sharp, smart rock records.  His latest is The Park Avenue Sobriety Test.

Nobody will really be surprised by what Plaskett gives us on this new album.  "Alright/OK" and "Hard Times" are both the kind of catchy, slightly twangy rock that is his bread and butter.

A closer to the roots feeling comes with the swirling, swaying organ on "Broken Heart Songs".  That's just amped up when you add in the blue collar storytelling of "Song For Jersey".

The most intriguing track is "On a Dime".  It's a solid rock number with some East Coast flare courtesy of a well-placed fiddle.  The title track closes things out with a fun quasi-singalong.

The mellower songs are hit and miss.  The lush love song "When I Close My Eyes" is strong.  The soft "For Your Consideration" is a snoozer.

Nothing on The Park Avenue Sobriety Test will blow you away.  But that's not what Joel Plaskett does.  What you do get is a solid and enjoyable rock record.

Joel Plaskett plays the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on May 22nd and the CBC Music Fest at Echo Beach on May 23rd.

Best tracks: "On A Dime", "The Park Avenue Sobriety Test"

Track listing for The Park Avenue Sobriety Test:
  • Illegitimate Blues
  • On a Dime
  • Alright/OK
  • The Last Phone Booth
  • When I Close My Eyes
  • Credits Roll
  • Captains of Industry
  • For Your Consideration
  • Hard Times
  • Broke
  • Song for Jersey
  • Broken Heart Songs
  • The Park Avenue Sobriety Test

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