CD REVIEW: THE JERRY CANS – Inuusiq
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
The Jerry Cans hail from the Nunavut territory of northern Canada, and have made an absolutely winning album that throws everything from rock and country and folk and traditional song forms and reggae and even acoustic punky charm into the mix.
The Jerry Cans play what could perhaps best be described as rootsy world folk, singing almost entirely in Inuktitut, and have a bonafide throat singer amidst their ranks: it certainly makes a welcome change from the usual, more generic discs crossing our desk.
The melodies and rhythms on Inuusiq (Inuktitut for ‘Life’) are so primal and infectious, the songs so well crafted, the production so on-point, that even not having much of an idea what the lyrics mean can’t dim our enjoyment here.
A booklet helps here, though, giving the English translations of the song titles, a paragraph explaining what each song is about, and even a little Inuktitut lesson with each.
Songs cover subjects including the Arctic landscape, family, wanting a career that isn’t the 9-to-5 grind, and a call to power for native women who have suffered in abusive relationships: community and nature are at the forefront of The Jerry Cans music.
So irresistible are some of these tunes, that as they bounce by with upbeat glee, my nine-year-old started making up her own Minion-like lyrics as she clapped along excitedly. There’s no better recommendation than that: The Jerry Cans have made a record in which the language barrier is no barrier at all for any music lover.
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