February 1, 2012

Album Review – “Forgiveness Rock Record” by Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene is one of the few bands that I adored after college, the time when I sort of stopped rummaging through the Internet for new music.

Back story: I voraciously downloaded MP3 songs from obscure bands using my 56.6k modem a full decade ago. Doing the math, it took me to download two songs within an hour, a terrible rate compared to how we can download an entire album in a matter of minutes this day and age.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, BSS.

I was completely blown away by “7/4 Shoreline” and “Fire Eye’d Boy”. The intense passion for music wrapped in indie aesthetics was perversely present in their songs. After procuring their album late that year, I was a full convert of the Scene. The compelling energy and organic song arrangements was truly refreshing that I can’t help tap my foot just thinking about the songs playing in my head.

With Forgiveness Rock Record, the energy is a bit hushed, in my humble opinion. The album is not as upfront with its confidence and I mean it as a complement. Whereas “Our Faces Split the Coast in Half” was a visceral outing, World Sick” takes listeners to a walk in the park on autumn, the leaves as sullen as the grey season.

But then there are reminders of yesteryears in this album. “Chase Scene” makes me think of Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage” if sung by Mamas and Papas. Let that sink in for a while. And then there’s “Meet Me in the Basement,” an instrumental that seems to grow and grow until it can’t fit in your head anymore. It’s that awesome.

But the real gem of Forgiveness Rock Record is “All to All.” I assume it’s sung by Emily Haines of Metric fame. If not, skip the next few paragraphs.

If so, I would like to renew my love for her.

Let’s just get some things out of the way first. I adore Metric and listen to “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now” like a slut smokes cigarettes. Haines seems more comfortable in that band as opposed to BSS, where Leslie Feist imposes so much of her presence in the band that it’s difficult to tell the other female performers, at least for me. But “All to All” is a testament to the band’s genius outside Feist and an affirmation of Haines’ talents to captivate. Kinda like what she did with “Calculation Theme.”

There’s really not much to forgive in this album, really, because no one’s at fault. I think the term people normally use is “effortless.”

Purchase Forgiveness Rock Record by clicking on the link.

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