Luke Doucet – Broken (And Other Rogue States)

The Taranna Was Hot Series: Part 7/25

I should probably turn in my Canadian citizenship card for admitting that this is the first Luke Doucet album I’ve ever owned. I know. It’s pathetic. He’s another one of those ones I always meant to get to, and just never have… until now. I got this disc from the 3-for-$10 bin at BMV.

NB: I really wish BMV wouldn’t use 4 pricing stickers on each CD, or at least not these impossible-to-remove ones that they currently have. It’s hard enough to remove them from a plastic CD case, but on a digipak like this album, it’s just ridiculous. 

Wiki tells me that this whole album is about “the heartbreak of a failed relationship.” I agree! Also, it was nominated for a Juno Award in 2006. Cool! Alright, the music.

Brother is slinky, bluesy, and absolutely riveting. If you think it’s plodding and goes nowhere, you’re not listening nearly close enough! Lots of cool bits here that make it a great album opener. Broken One is a pretty, memorable melody masquerading as a country-pop tune. “…but you’ve gotta have a heart to have a broken one…” Oh man what a great line.

The wonderfully-named Stumbling Gingerly Back To Emily’s Apartment is a weird little drum machine and other elements (even a kid on an answering machine) intermission that melds perfectly into the country roadhouse bar gorgeousness of Emily, Please. I loved this one.

Lucky Strikes is a sweet pop tune about finding your way away from a bad relationship Hansel and Gretel-style, using cigarettes. Yes. Then we go into the folk pickin’ of Wallow, another tune that is just great storytelling and songwriting. Why, oh why have I not been into this guy all along? Alas.

It’s Not The Liquor I Miss is a strummy pop tune with electric guitar support and (yes) hand claps. There’s something breezy about the whole thing, it’s a sweet confection indeed. One Too Many brings us back to the bluesy stomp feel, which lends itself well to the song’s contents of maybe having that one too many drinks.

Vladivostok is not your typical Canadian pop song writing material… It’s a bouncy tune with cool little jazzy breakdowns and a cool melody line. I wouldn’t have credited it possible, but here it is! And then we roll into If I Drop Names, a short intro which lightly leads us into the bright pop tune called Free. The organ is perfect, and so are the backing vocals. I could hear Hawksley Workman singing this one, actually.

No Love To Be Made Here Now is an achingly beautiful tune, slow and melancholy and absolutely real. This was fantastic. And finally it’s Keep Her Away From Me, a blues stomper worthy of Bob Log III and R.L. Burnside in duet. I loved it, but I might not have let this short one end the album. I’d have preferred No Love… as the album closer. Ah well. No one ever asks me these things and then it’s too late.

In Sum:

By this album alone, I can tell you that Luke Doucet is an incredible, versatile songwriter who exhibits intelligence and humour. Get this. Get them all (I presume)!

4 thoughts on “Luke Doucet – Broken (And Other Rogue States)

  1. stephen1001 says:

    I tried to comment here yesterday Aaron, it doesn’t seem to have gone through (the issue’s on my end for sure, it’s happened on yours/Mike’s/James/Brian’s posts) – if today’s attempt works, I was going to say, he does a great cover of the Cure’s Lovecats, I think even as a non-Cure fan, you might enjoy!


  2. deKE says:

    Failed relationship?! Luke the dude should hook up with Alanis and do a double Digi Pack of a record together …
    Never heard of this guy and props for you for scouring record bins looking for stuff that guys like myself have never heard…
    Cool reads Hotshot!


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