Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene


4.5
superb

Review

by Thomas Bambaataa Ghidrah Towers USER (67 Reviews)
November 6th, 2005 | 66 replies | 14,387 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


10 of 10 thought this review was well written

Oh the gods of Indie music have been kind to Canada, The Arcade Fire, Death from Above 1979, Godspeed You! Black Emperor (the gods took this band away though). And there's also Broken Social Scene, receiving praise and popularity where ever they roam. Formed in 1999 by art-rockers Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning, Broken Social Scene inflated from 2 to 17 members, including members from Metric and Stars (including the sexy lead singers of both). So obviously, this band wasn't meant to be anything but simple. And of course after two albums, pre-order sales were high for their new album, Broken Social Scene, after the underground acclaim of its predecessor You Forgot it in People a smooth sailing, Indie rock underground hit. Does it live up to the hype? I couldn't give less of a crap about hype, hype almost made me listen to the Louis XIV!

To put it in an appealing way, Broken Social Scene is a lot like The Arcade Fire, but less theatric and more abstract and experimental. But the better way to describe them, or this album, is a rain storm. Each instrument is like a raindrop, or the clanking and various noises made by one. Simple, but the accumulation of such noise creates a manically beautiful atmosphere. One instrument does not make a difference in Broken Social Scene, there's no real instrument highlight, but each plays a small role to form a great song. Kind of like gathering many good actors and not focusing on one of them instead of one big-breasted bad one that's the centre for a movie. Boobies are nice, but they don't get the job done. The best example of this would be the album's opener Our faces Split the Coast in Half, all the instruments accumulate and drop out throughout this jazzy song as the vocals drift along the layers of music. This plan does backfire sometimes, there's so much of what almost seems like a competition for one player to out shadow another on some songs. And when it rains for so long it just fades into the background. Drew and Canning are two talented musicians, it seems like sort of a waste for them to play such minor parts sometimes.

The music at times minimized to a 'standard' band, yet still maintains the idea of the music being big and ambitious. Windsurfing Nation (Feist on vocals), Swimmers (Emily Haines of Metric on vocals), Hotel and Handjobs for the Holidays are all examples, though still ambitious, move Broken Social Scene into swing music like, acoustic music, driven by the highly inorganic drum beats. But the songs still keep the avant-garde, moody vibe of the album. Handjobs for the Holidays breaks the mold a bit, giving a less synthetic vibe as the instrumentation again gathers and swirls to make a beautiful outro.

The lyrics are the most puzzling thing about this album, sometimes so intangible yet sometimes revealing and self-indulgent. And sometimes one literally doesn't understand them because the vocals are buried underneath the music, a la My Bloody Valentine. The album's closer Itís all Gonna Break triumphs at showcasing what a brilliantly creative this and band is, the song manages to join the poppy Indie rock past of the band and the symphonic future. Going through jaunty pop (still maintaining dark, enigmatic lyrics) to celestial breaks to uplifting sections filled with luscious horn arrangements. The liner notes say 'Try to sound like Bob Seger on acid' for this song, so hey, you're in for a ride.

Well the whole disc is quite a ride, from the dynamic mini-symphonies to placid songs highlighting vocalist Kevin Drew's (one of the handful of vocalists on the album, the main one I suppose) voice and its somewhat unstable qualities. Broken Social Scene is a progressively unconventional mess of an album, expanding every musical aspect of itself. It takes influences from swing music, folk, Indie pop and progressive rock to form an adventure of moods and feelings formed by the muddle of fuzzy guitars, trombones and various musicians of the Canadian music scene lending a hand to make the chaotic melodies. If someone didn't like Broken Social Scene before, I can assure him or her that different impressions of Broken Social Scene will be formed now. The producer of this album was obsessed with topping its predecessor You Forgot it in People. Did he succeed? It's like comparing, well, let's use the ever famous OK Computer and Kid A Radiohead comparison. They're too different, each great in their own ways. And whether people argue if Broken Social Scene topped You Forgot it in People or not, it will remembered as a landmark album for Broken Social Scene, and for Canadian music for years to come. Broken Social Scene----------------> 4.5 stars



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Whether or not it's as good as You Forgot it in People can be easily debated, but Broken Social Scen...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
November 6th 2005



2647 Comments


Great review but I don't think this is 4.5/5, this album does get boring at times so IMO it's more like a 3.5/5.

masada
November 6th 2005



2733 Comments


Good review as always, Galapogos. I think I just read a review on this somewhere (probably Pitchfork) and I believe they gave it a similar rating.

EDIT: The cover is cool too.This Message Edited On 11.06.05

pulseczar
November 6th 2005



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I fixed the weird crap in my review. yeah Zebra I've heard some people say this album is boring but I personally enjoy it all the way through

blueyxd
November 6th 2005



77 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cool stuff, I'm interested in hearing this. I heard 7/4 on the radio, but I didn't know it was BSS until after the song when they announced it.

Is there much of the harder stuff like Almost Crimes or KC Accidental on this cd?

pulseczar
November 7th 2005



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[quote=blueyxd]Is there much of the harder stuff like Almost Crimes or KC Accidental on this cd?[/quote]

no, the music has its share of mild fuzz and distortion and aggression, but those harder days have definitely passed.This Message Edited On 11.07.05

Jawaharal
November 7th 2005



1832 Comments


yay for galapwngos

Jawaharal
November 7th 2005



1832 Comments


Man, my icon is sexy.
Thanks alot Tom.

mx
Moderator
November 11th 2005



733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some great songs, but not as good as Feel Good Lost. It's too disjointed

Jubella
February 4th 2006



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I enjoy this cd so much! BSS are so talented, they did a wonderful job with this album. I didn't hear previoust though, so i can't say if this one is better or not. Great review!

pulseczar
February 4th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ahhhh punkskater912 rated this a 1, I can bet anything that the prick hasn't heard this.

Jawaharal
February 4th 2006



1832 Comments


BSS have nothing on K.C. Accidental for best happy post-rock band.

mx
Moderator
February 4th 2006



733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This has really been growing on me lately. 'Swimmers' is the best track, IMO

Two-Headed Boy
February 15th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nothing short of spectacular. Ibi dreams of Pavement is just fantastic.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
February 15th 2006



3995 Comments


"Almost Crimes" is their best overall though.This Message Edited On 02.15.06

Two-Headed Boy
February 20th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[are nice, but they don't get the job done. [/quote]

nice

pulseczar
February 20th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Are you referring to what I said in my review? You seem to be having a bit of trouble with quote tags :p If so, thanks, I try to put in lame little jokes in my reviews whenever possible.

ocelot-05
February 20th 2006



807 Comments


This band is the phantom that messes up Kid A.

pulseczar
February 20th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They finally fixed that I'm glad, Kid A doesn't deserve BSS :p

finnegan
February 20th 2006



4 Comments


I have never heard this band.

mx
Moderator
February 20th 2006



733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, they're indie, so its not all over the radio



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