The title of this Seattle-based singer/songwriter’s 5th full length comes in the opening tune The Collector. This stems from a therapy session wherein Kelly Kristjanson (pronounced Christian-son) was diagnosed as being a people collector.
The notion of collecting people is used here with bitter irony since several songs actually address losses of both friends and family. I Still Feel You With Me Every Day was written for his late cousin and best friend Stefania. In Save A Place At The Bar, the drinking location is heaven.
Moreover, other folks didn’t figure prominently in the making of the record. Kristjanson wrote all the songs, performed all the vocals and played most of the instruments. This DIY ethic largely accounts for the relative lack of variety and why the fourteen tracks seem to last longer than 47 minutes.
One Day At A Time hints at depressive (or addictive) tendencies with the less than joyful sentiment “Trying to find a point to every day”.
On the face of it, Meet Me At The Truck Stop and Helping Johnny On The Farm seem more sociably orientated. However, the latter is about his Uncle’s family farm in Mountain, North Dakota and Kristjanson readily admits “I never did a lick of work there at all”.
The album grinds along with no real change of pace like a cut-price version of Tom Petty. In consequence, I picture the singer contentedly steering a battered pick-up truck along a straight dirt track.
Only he knows where he’s been or where he’s heading.