by Christine Leonard
Hawksley Workman – Median Age Wasteland
The business of making music has long been child’s play for singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman. From polishing the glam-pop pole with “Stripteaze” to warming the hearth of humanity with “Almost a Full Moon” the multi-talented instrumentalist and author has successfully encapsulated the modern Canadian experience while panhandling his way into the hearts and record collections of rock and folk music fans around the globe.
Sizing up personal demons on his self-exploratory 16th studio album, Median Age Wasteland, Workman (who turns 44 this month) applies his careful yet ebullient craft to tracks like the equally luminous and humourous “Lazy” and the small town summer ditty “Battlefords.” As ever, soaring vocals and cafe corner guitar rambles ease any sense of awkwardness as the true north troubadour dives headlong into another library of unabashedly innocent and sentimentalized moments. “Birds in Train Stations”, cigarettes, lucid dreams, bingo cards and cars perched on blocks are all fair game as the obtuse and observant “Skinny Wolf” catalogues his impressionistic adventures. Elevating the mundane, he readily points out “Nobody really asked for this,” but by the time you’ve reached your 40s it’s not so much about getting what you want, but rather claiming what you need.