The last thing Luke Doucet apparently wants to do is lament about love’s overbearing backlash, a subject that has been “done to death,” but the topic is what inevitably permeates Broken (and other rogue states), the latest follow-up to solo projects Outlaws – Live & Unreleased (2004) and Aloha, Manitoba (2001). Doucet has emerged from an extensive line of musical endeavors, including his membership with Canadian pop trio Veal and a two-year guitar stint with Sarah MacLachlan, not to mention his production work for pals NQ Arbuckle and Melissa McLelland. Broken begins with the somber “Brother”, a trace of blues and raw sobriety. “Stumbling Gingerly Back To Emily’s Apartment” cracks open the barrel with samples of a voice message and segways into “Emily, Please”, a deeper note, easing heartbreak into the drink. “Wallow” features an acoustic take on “lessons to learn”, while “It’s Not The Liquor I Miss” breaks through with a light stream of a aspiring optimism (“I’ve got a broken heart/It’s not the liquor I miss/But the days are so long”). “Vladivostok” wrangles all emotions into a bunch, reconciling havoc and relief until the soft revelation of “No Love To Be Made Here Now”. With influences such as Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson’s Stardust, Randy Newman’s Sail Away, and Tom Waits’ Heart Of A Saturday Night, Doucet’s apparent folk and country twang settle perfectly in the mindset of Broken, an album that can’t help but to simply return to the common topic of dark, sobering heartbreak. Without becoming detached from the light, Broken’s version of a sting makes the bitter a bit sweeter.