Jerry Leger & The Situation
Retrospective 2005-19 Ltd Edition
Golden Rocket Records
The Best of the Best of the Canadiacana New Wave.
It’s very easy to criticise the internet and everything it stands for; but for every bad deed it is responsible for there is also a Good Karma opposite reaction too; and my discovering Jerry Leger in 2018 is one of the latter, via his recent Early Riser and From Nonsense and Heartache albums.
So it was with heightened excitement that I recently discovered that not only is Jerry Leger & The Situation returning to these fair shores in April and May but to coincide there will be this *Retrospective album culling together The Best Of his 9 albums!
Being a newcomer to the World of Leger my heart skipped a beat when I heard him go all Rockabilly on opening track Red City with it’s chunka-chunka guitar and rinky-dinky piano beats as Leger twists his vocal chords inside out on a really danceable tune.
I won’t bore you with listing the albums that the songs are from, as a) fans will already know and b) new purchasers can easily find that out from the album sleeve!
It’s a personal thing on my behalf, but I love Leger’s nasally vocals even more than his clever songwriting style; and the band aren’t afraid of a melody either; which is always a plus point.
I guess if I was dissect these 20 songs like a Bob Dylan fanatic discovering another 37 versions of Hard Rain; I’m pretty sure that I would find that Jerry Leger’s writing skills have evolved and matured over the last 15 years; but I’m just taking this collection at face value and loving every single moment.
For a Canadian singing Americana; there’s a decidedly Britishness to several songs here; with hints of The Kinks, Squeeze, Graham Parker and even Scotland’s finest export Orange Juice in the likes of See My Baby Run, Beating The Storm and the exquisite Wrong Kind of Girl ; and there are plenty of others in that vein too.
For existing fans there is the inclusion of two ‘outtakes’ to get excited about; Beating The Storm with it’s beguiling guitar work and pleading vocal performance and also You Really Got It Bad which with nothing to compare it to; made my heart flutter anyway.
Of the newer songs that I already knew; Another Dead Radio Star, Factory Made and It Don’t Make The Wrong Go Away sound even crisper than I’d remembered now they sit alongside their musical heritage.
I know for once that I haven’t given this album enough time to genuinely select a Favourite Song; but I’m going to throw a couple of contenders into the ring and see what happens; Den Of Sin with it’s sleazy bottle-neck opening, and raggedy chorus is quite special; while any song titled Wrong Kind of Girl is always going to interest me; and this one actually lives up to it’s enigmatic title and the feisty New Wave meets Country-Rag influenced Americana of Too Broke to Die has to be one of those songs that will be an ear-worm for days after hearing it, and also a highlight of any drunken night out if you ever find it on a Jukebox.
*The first issue of RETROSPECTIVE 2005-19 is only being made available for sale at the imminent European Tour, but this album is so damn good I’ll be disappointed and surprised if it’s not going to turn up on the website soon afterwards; and will be the perfect introduction to the Leger World that I’m already immersed in.
Released March 22nd 2019