Like Blue Rodeo’s albums, Jim Cuddy’s solo records blend country-tinged rock with pop ballads. The only real difference is that, without Greg Keelor, his co-frontman in Blue Rodeo, Cuddy’s recordings are generally more upbeat. That said, some of the best songs on Constellation are those steeped in melancholy. The title track is a piano ballad about a dying friend. Cuddy, 62, sings about struggling to say goodbye as the song builds to a stirring crescendo. “You Be the Leaver” is another meditation on separation and includes the memorable line “So you be the leaver, I’ll be the left behind.” But there are plenty of brighter moments. The joyous, organ-fuelled “While I Was Waiting” revels in finding romance, while “Roses At Your Feet” is a gentle song of devotion, directed at his wife of more than 30 years, actress Rena Polley. Striking a balance between love and loss, Cuddy—who’s set to tour Canada as of Feb. 8—has created an album that’s rich in personal truths.
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