Luke Doucet

There's enough liquor in Luke Doucet's new album to derail the best-laid plans of a dozen AA chapters. The Canadian singer-songwriter (and onetime Sarah McLachlan guitarist) dances across his rivers of whiskey like a Fred Astaire of the barfly set, surefooted and insouciant as he runs through dirty blues stompers ("Keep Her Away from Me"), smoky-voiced, moody ballads ("Emily Please") and rootsy pop numbers ("Lucky Strikes," "Broken One," "One Too Many"). It's a theatrical step forward from Doucet's solo debut, Aloha Manitoba, a likable if unremarkably folksy CD. On Broken (which Doucet has admitted draws much of its material from a relationship that had recently gone kaput), the singer seems to have found his bite along with his booze, and the anger suits him well.
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Chris Baty