Broken Social Scene

In 2002, Broken Social Scene didn't have much to prove. Most members of the Toronto collective were already playing in other Canadian indie bands (Stars, Metric, Do Make Say Think), and because they were a ragtag group of relative musical unknowns, their second album was likely to be as forgotten as their first. But You Forgot It In People wasn't, thanks in large part to a chance discovery by hipster paradise Pitchfork Media, and the Canadian collective-on-the-side quickly turned into the main entrée. Buzz and anticipation might be new to BSS on their third proper full-length, but it sure doesn't sound like they're aware of it. The same loose aesthetic that made Forgot so dreamy hasn't been rushed or overworked on Broken Social Scene--in fact, the band may have grown more carefree since getting so much attention. "Windsurfing Nation" is BSS at its best with a spastic-dance breakbeat supported by crisp guitar licks, fuzzy blurs of feedback and four different choruses chanted and sung simultaneously; the result sounds like the 11 members invented their own sections and made a party out of recording them at the same time. Quality pervades on this disc with the OC-ready bedroom-sing-along of "Swimmers," the warm bath of distorted guitars, trumpet notes and vocal "oohs" on "Handjobs for the Holidays," the festival-ready four-guitar blasts and stuck-in-your-head chorus ("It's comin' in hard!") of "7/4 (Shoreline)" and the 21st-century take on Neil Young of "It's All Gonna Break." If more bands had nothing to prove, then maybe everything would sound as beautiful as Broken Social Scene.


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