If you can’t tell by the title of this collection, Joel Plaskett is Canadian and awesome. He’s the rock’roll offspring of Tom Petty and Paul McCartney—the one that lives in the garage, not even in the room above the garage, just in the garage, with the old radio and the antifreeze. And it’s a garage in Canada, so think how cold it must be.
Emergencys is 20 tracks spanning Plaskett’s work with his band the Emergency, which he formed after disbanding the hard-rocking Thrush Hermit. Plaskett has run an ambitious and creative solo career, including a concept album set in his old high school as well as a 27-song triple album. So it’s to be expected that a few of the songs included here aim for something interesting and end up somewhere else. But most of them hit that twangy power pop sweet spot. This collection is the perfect place to start sorting through his work; you can hear Plaskett becoming a better songwriter over this decade’s-worth of dirty rock and eventually you’ll get to the part where Plaskett gets rescued from that Canadian garage by his uncle Paul Westerberg.
One of the most apt lyrics to make it into any career-spanning compilation: “Just because we love you does not mean we miss you.”