Joe Piket has enjoyed a long career working in the indie music scene. His longest success is, without question, under the banner Joe Piket and the Storm, but few musical collaborations, even the most fruitful, last forever. His solo release Everything is Different features eight tracks, two songs covers, and a breathtaking style range. There’s apparently very little Piket won’t try and the remarkable thing is that he consistently makes you a believer after thinking, perhaps a few seconds in, there’s no way he’ll pull it off.
I laughed the first time I heard the transition from classical to doo wop that begins “Now I Have Everything” in earnest. I stopped laughing long before it ended. The opening is lush but doesn’t last long and the vocal harmonies he strings throughout the doo wop portion of the song. It never hits a false note. Even a single listen to this track reveals a performer truly in love with the form rather than entertaining himself with a novelty.
“Coke Stevenson” has a near folk rock vibe with jangling guitars anchored by a persistent backbeat with plenty of snap. The vocal arrangement is another fantastic facet of this performance; alternating between the deliberately dry delivery of the verses with the multi-tracked scat vocals gives the song variety it otherwise would lack. “My Rear View Mirror” signals another stylistic change-up as Piket successfully invokes reggae with the conviction of someone who has played this style all their lives. Like the opener, there is never any sense of Piket “playing around”. His affection for the style shines through.
“Hard to be Good” pairs well with the earlier “Coke Stevenson” despite breaking with the earlier track in terms of instrumentation. This is a much fuller affair, yet the song never feels weighed down. The addition of horns provides plenty of musical firepower for this effort and it arguably boasts the song’s finest chorus. “She’s Funny That Way” hits the sweet spot for me as a listener thanks to its immense soulfulness, but it also wisely never seeks to clutter the arrangement or otherwise make overwrought changes to this classic. It takes considerable courage for a singer to cover Billie Holliday, but it’s a quality Piket has in spades.
Listen to Everything is Different on Spotify. Joe Piket · Album · 2018 · 8 songs.
“Another Age” revisits the progressive inklings heard during the earlier “Piles” but expands on them. The track runs a little over nine minutes long and is both a vocal and lyrical showcase. It is nothing short of impressive how Piket continually pulls musical rabbits out of his hat during the course of this collection and “Another Age” is a stunning conclusion for Everything is Different. Joe Piket is far from a newcomer, but there’s no question he brings passion to the writing and recording of his solo work that matches anything younger performers dare attempt. His connection to his Muse seems well nigh impervious and doesn’t bother worrying about what is or isn’t in fashion. Good and great music are always in fashion regardless of personal tastes.