Broken Social Scene

In case just listening to the schizophrenic You Forgot It in People leaves you scratching your head, it comes equipped with an underlined thesis statement. Evidently the record is "designed to remind us that music still has room to be re-created." Ambitious. "It flows like a compilation of sounds for the wounded." Pretentious. Listen to the buzz and you'd believe that loose Toronto collective Broken Social Scene follows through on that promise--the most exciting thing to come out of Ontario, SARS aside, since Alanis. In a fit of giddy over-reaction, the Toronto Sun declared this "a perfect album." OK, OK. While it's not the flawless, groundbreaking shot in the arm pop music needs, You Forgot It in People is definitely the caliber of album we could use more of. "Looks Just Like the Sun" and "Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl," two of the album's most accessible tracks, have a laid-back bubblegum feel pieced out of surprising elements: "Anthems" boasts a prominent banjo; "Sun" has instructions like "keep going" embedded in the vocals. There are also some straight-up rockers, which are well-crafted, if less innovative. Vocalist Kevin Drew (Foo) fights his way through "Cause = Time," and "Almost Crimes" follows a Trail of Dead all the way. However, it's the often-tedious instrumentals and a bizarre tendency toward the ribald (see the otherwise excellent Doves-like ballad "Lover's Spit") that keep this record from being all the things it wants to be.

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