Album Review: Joel Plaskett – Emergencys, False Alarms…


thebrokenspeaker.com
Album Review: Joel Plaskett – Emergencys, False Alarms…

It’s not quite a greatest hits collection, or a collection of leftovers. It isn’t a sign of an artist running out of steam and releasing past material. The new Joel Plaskett compilation album Emergencys, False Alarms, Shipwrecks, Castaways, Fragile Creatures, Special Features, Demons and Demonstrations: 199-2010 has a little bit of everything on it. There are tracks like “On the Rail”, a track about the Cabot Trail that was previously only available digitally as part of the CBC Songquest. It also features early versions of a number of favourites such as “Extraordinary”, “Come On, Teacher”, “Drunk Teenagers” and more. People who know Plaskett’s catalogue through and through (and through) may be thrown for a curve ball during a song like “Drunk Teenagers” where the melody is the same but the lyrics are very different from the final version that made it’s way onto Ashtray Rock.

The album feels a little all over the place and cumbersome at times. This comes as no surprise as the album features 20 songs from a span of 10 years. The album would not be a good Joel Plaskett introduction for beginners album by any stretch, but for fans of Plaskett it is well worth a listen. It would be a shame if a track like “When I Do” featuring harmonies provided by Ana Egge and Peter Elkas were to disappear into the abyss and never be heard by the public. Listeners can also have a little fun comparing early versions with final versions of the songs, debating whether or not the final version is better than the early version. Maybe “Nothing More To Say” should have remained a warm acoustic ballad instead of an electric and more vibrant rock song. Maybe including “I hate Clayton Park” was a crucial line in the final version of “Drunk Teenagers” allowing it to be a powerful album opener. How did “Money in the Bank” never make it’s way onto an album? There may be no definitive answer to these questions, but they are fun to speculate and add to the enjoyment of this album.