The Park Avenue Sobriety Test
Without being too hyperbolic, Joel Plaskett’s latest album The Park Avenue Sobriety Test is perhaps his best yet.
The album is a tribute to the artist’s own life. The acronym The PAST is indicative of a
musician just about to turn 40, looking back over his years as he approaches
this milestone. With this in mind, it’s easy to assume that the album would be
melancholic, but in fact it’s far from it, with upbeat, clever and often downright funny lyrics.
The album is bursting with guests who bring their own energies to the album. Plaskett’s usual backing band Emergency, featuring bassist Chris Pennell, drummer Dave Marsh and new keyboardist John Boudreau, contributes. Mo Kenney, who is also currently touring with Plaskett, sings backing vocals, Erin Costello plays piano throughout, and Ian McGettigan plays the boards and congas.
Some stand-out tracks include “On a Dime,” which features a fiddle and includes catchy, nostalgia-inducing lyrics, “When I Close My Eyes,” and the title track “The Park Avenue Sobriety Test,” which manages to be both dark and a bit cynical, but is catchy and clever enough to leave listeners with a smile on their lips.
If you aren’t a Joel Plaskett fan already, you will be after listening to this album and immersing yourself in his quirky brand of folk-rock.
– Alyson Shane (Twitter @alysonshane)
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: JOEL PLASKETT – THE PARK AVENUE SOBRIETY TEST