Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record

Cover for Forgiveness Rock Record by Broken Social Scene

While the name sounded familiar, I hadn’t been familiar with anything put out by Arts & Crafts collective Broken Social Scene but seeing the overwhelmingly positive reviews for Forgiveness Rock Record upon its release in mid-2010, I couldn’t resist. I had to see what the album and band were all about… eventually. I’ve been sitting on this record since August and only now really giving it a good hard listen.

Members of the band vary from six to sometimes over 20 people for any particular song and contain some well-known names on the Canadian indie rock scene, including Amy Millan from Stars, Emily Haines from Metric and Leslie Feist.

Having so many people involved on one album results in a very varied sound from song to song. Sometimes it’s light electronica-fare such as on All To All and sometimes it’s a twangy acoustic tune, complete with slide guitars and xylophone over a subtle drum beat on Highway Slipper Jam. Classifying the record as one genre of music would be like trying to classify the sound of Canadian music into one. It’s impossible.

For those looking for some familiarity before diving right in will want to go straight to Sentimental X’s. The first time vocals by members Emily, Amy and Leslie appear together on the same song. The result is an epic five and a half minute adventure of zany synths and horns lying underneath the soothing vocals of three of Canada’s leading music leads.

Listening to Forgiveness Rock Record is like a true musical journey through the minds of over a dozen musicians working both separately and together for a finished collection of songs. What makes this record most impressive is that the entire feel of each track is so natural. Despite having so many people involved with such a wide variety of sounds, the whole record doesn’t sound choppy or inconsistent. The instruments themselves in relation to each other provide the bells and whistles for what results in a very detailed yet very casual sound with songs that flow from one into another.  The end result is something that doesn’t feel forced, as if coming up with the finished product wasn’t the goal at all but instead a sad ending to what was an incredible journey. Four stars

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

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