[Album Review] Joel Plaskett- Joel Plaskett & The Park Avenue Sobriety Test
5.0Rating
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

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Release Date: March 17th, 2015
Label: Pheromone Recordings

Joel Plaskett’s fourth solo album, Joel Plaskett & The Park Avenue Sobriety Test is – at first listen – a celebration of East Coast music. Building on folk-rock, Plaskett introduces a touch of the blues to this eclectic album, to share the trials of adulthood: love, loss, accomplishment, and unexpected twists. He sets the scene with a bluesy intro “I’m not down on my luck, or behind on my dues; I’ve got some kind of f**ked up illegitimate blues.”

Opening on a high note with the bouncy fiddle of “On a Dime”, Plaskett brings his toe-tapping on-stage experience to this album“Alright OK” keeps the Maritime kitchen party rolling, introducing Plaskett’s catchy, rapid-fire lyrics. The album slows down with deeper ballads like “When I Close my Eyes and For Your Consideration”; both emotionally laden and demonstrating a reflective side that fans haven’t heard in previous releases.

“Credits Roll” brings echoing rock and roll that we’ve come to expect from the Emergency Band, Dave Marsh and Chris Pennell, who lend percussion throughout this album.  The captivating “Captains of Industry” features an impressive guitar solo and lyrics that speak of dark, industrial greed – an unexpectedly deep turn for Plaskett.

We return to the toe-tapping, fast-paced East Coast spirit with an energetic cover of Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times”. Plaskett’s rhyming and storytelling skills are put to work in “Broke and Song for Jersey” – bringing up the energy to my personal favourite, “Broken Heart Songs”. The call-and-response and background vocals remind me of Plaskett’s 2009 release, Three, and I can’t help but joining in and grinning.

The album ties up on a light-hearted note with the Park Avenue Sobriety Test – a reminder that adult life is full of twists and turns. Overall, this album is a fantastic return to the classic Plaskett sound. Sing along – clap your hands – and you’re your calendars for what’s sure to be a fantastic upcoming tour!

Joel Plaskett’s fourth solo album, Joel Plaskett & The Park Avenue Sobriety Test is – at first listen – a celebration of East Coast music. Building on folk-rock, Plaskett introduces a touch of the blues to this eclectic album, to share the trials of adulthood: love, loss, accomplishment, and unexpected twists. He sets the scene with a bluesy intro “I’m not down on my luck, or behind on my dues; I’ve got some kind of f**ked up illegitimate blues.”

Opening on a high note with the bouncy fiddle of “On a Dime”, Plaskett brings his toe-tapping on-stage experience to this album“Alright OK” keeps the Maritime kitchen party rolling, introducing Plaskett’s catchy, rapid-fire lyrics. The album slows down with deeper ballads like “When I Close my Eyes and For Your Consideration”; both emotionally laden and demonstrating a reflective side that fans haven’t heard in previous releases.

“Credits Roll” brings echoing rock and roll that we’ve come to expect from the Emergency Band, Dave Marsh and Chris Pennell, who lend percussion throughout this album.  The captivating “Captains of Industry” features an impressive guitar solo and lyrics that speak of dark, industrial greed – an unexpectedly deep turn for Plaskett.

We return to the toe-tapping, fast-paced East Coast spirit with an energetic cover of Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times”. Plaskett’s rhyming and storytelling skills are put to work in “Broke and Song for Jersey” – bringing up the energy to my personal favourite, “Broken Heart Songs”. The call-and-response and background vocals remind me of Plaskett’s 2009 release, Three, and I can’t help but joining in and grinning.

The album ties up on a light-hearted note with the Park Avenue Sobriety Test – a reminder that adult life is full of twists and turns. Overall, this album is a fantastic return to the classic Plaskett sound. Sing along – clap your hands – and mark your calendars for what’s sure to be a fantastic upcoming tour!