Friday, December 31, 2010

FORGIVENESS ROCK RECORD - Broken Social Scene (2010)

Coming a full five years after this vast Canadian collective's last proper release and the career breakout of many of its supporting members (most notably female vocalists Leslie Fiest, Star's Amy Millan, and Metric's Emily Haines), one would be justified in expecting Forgiveness Rock Record to be a lackluster, disorganized affair.

But it is anything but.

Though not as overtly ambitious, adventurous or hard hitting as 2002's You Forget It In People or 2005's Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record is the most cohesive, best sequenced, most melodic, best mixed, most sharply crafted album of Broken Social Scene's career.

It may veer a bit more to the mainstream (although tracks like Texico Bitches and album closer Me And My Hand confirm the band's not all the way there yet), but that slight drop in overall daring and impact has been replaced by a very welcome increase in focus and accessibility.

And while I wouldn't call any of this sprawling album's fourteen tracks great, all are inviting in a warm, open-armed way.

Taken collectively and in sequence, there is just no overstating how well they flow.

From drawn-out epic opener World Sick, through quietly seductive female-led numbers like All To All and Sentimenal X's, to rousing instrumentals like Meet Me In The Basement and charging, Stonesy, sing-along rockers like Chase SceneForced to Love and Water In Hell, Forgiveness Rock Record is as consistently listenable as a record can be, and a near perfect summer album.

I can't wait to throw it on my backyard stereo system at our next pool party.

It delivers that strong of a breezy, unforced, good-time feel.

Status: Solid Recommend.

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: World Sick, Texico Bitches, All To All, Water In Hell.

Here's the official music video for the oil conglomerate bashing Texico Bitches.

Component Breakdown:
1. World Sick - 8
2. Chase Scene - 8
3. Texico Bitches - 8
4. Forced To Love - 8
5. All To All - 8
6. Art House Director - 8
7. Highway Slipper Jam - 6
8. Ungrateful Little Father - 6
9. Meet Me In The Basement - 7
10. Sentimental X's - 8
11. Sweetest Kill - 7
12. Romance To The Grave - 7
13. Water In Hell - 8
14. Me And My Hand - 6
Intangibles - High

What are your thoughts on Broken Social Scene's Forgiveness Rock Record. Let readers know with a comment.

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