February 5, 2004

The Sound Barrier

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The new year has come and gone, and the time for new beginnings is ostensibly over. But, in the time honored spirit of rock ‘n’ roll rebellion, I humbly offer you the first installment of this new column. So, to kick things off, I’ll dispense with the niceties and get straight to what seems to be on just about everyone’s mind these days — our very own Cornell Big Red “elephant in the room,” if you will. And that is, of course, whether I’m single. Just kidding. But, seriously, what I wanted to talk about today is a guy from Canada named Joel Plaskett. Now, you’re probably asking yourself a particular question, namely: why would I want to read about a guy from Canada named Joel Plaskett? And, if you weren’t asking yourself that particular question, pay closer attention. In any case, the answer is that the Joel Plaskett Emergency is responsible for the best rock record of 2003. This particular album — titled Truthfully, Truthfully (MapleMusic) — delivers heart-achingly earnest roots rock with a 1970s sensibility and an uncanny knack for songwriting and arranging. I know, I know: Rolling Stone told you that OutKast made the best album of the year (saving hip-hop and bringing it to the masses in one fell swoop). Then there was Beyonc