Broken Social Scene
In late-2002, pretty much out of nowhere (Canada, to be precise), a little band (ok, 10 members isn't so little) by the name of Broken Social Scene completely burst into the arena. With a brilliant debut album, You Forgot It In People, that reaped lavish praise from every critic whose desk it crossed (i.e. - Ryan Schreiber) and every listener whose speakers it blared through (i.e. - mine), they rapidly transformed themselves from barely-known band of misfits into a household name - well, in indie-households, at least. In other words, they totally blew it up.
Broken Social Scene, the band's self-titled follow-up to You Forgot It In People, should quell any fears that this collective was simply a flash in the pan. On the contrary, it proves they're a major force to be reckoned with.
"7/4 (Shoreline)" is a lushly orchestrated hyper-kinetic pop marvel. Comparing it to the band's previous catalog of songs, I'd say it would lie somewhere between "Pacific Theme" and "Almost Crimes". One thing it's got going for it is a chance for us to hear some of bandmember Leslie Feist's vocal histrionics. After spending the last year and a half getting acquainted with Feist's smooth side on her solo album, Let It Die, getting to hear her let loose with BSS and rock out once again is extremely satisfying.
Ever since the entire album leaked to the internet last week, I've noticed a lot of other bloggers saying that they were shocked upon first hearing it. It wasn't at all what they were expecting to hear. It threw 'em for a loop. That, in my opinion, is one of the album's great strengths. What would be interesting about a predictable band? Who wants to hear someone rehash the same songs all over again album after album? Not me, thanks. But then, inevitably, most add that the record slowly grows on them. I must admit that my appreciation for it was a bit more...immediate. It didn't take long - maybe one or two listens - for these songs' infectious melodies to get lodged in my head. However, I can understand how some might find this new album to be one that requires just a little bit more effort than the first. Maybe it is because there aren't any clearcut standout tracks, no "Stars & Sons", no "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl" - nothing that immediately jumps out at you and shakes you. So if you have some trouble adjusting at first, give it a few more chances. You'll eventually get "superconnected" to each and every one of the songs. For me, the thing has been a fixture in my car stereo all week.
Details of Broken Social Scene can be found here. It will be released on October 4th by Arts & Crafts. I assure you that it will immediately be added to my collection at that point (a 2nd disc with 7 more songs will be included with the initial pressing). It would also be a frickin' blast to hear these new songs played live...