Friday, June 29, 2012

Album Retrospective: Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record

Album Rating: B+
As summer rolls in, there's a lot of music that really fits the mood of relaxing and keeping cool, or being active and alive and joyful. I think music is an important part of making these activities memorable, and making a good experience out of something as simple as driving on a beautiful day, or playing frisbee in the park. While we don't connect with these albums on a deeply emotional level, they can make something trivial into something momentarily grand, an attention grabber that can make our day. I think Broken Social Scene's latest and final effort really fits the bill beautifully. Forgiveness Rock Record has some special qualities about it that would simply and easily make a summer day into a musical delight.

Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning were the masterminds behind Broken Social Scene, and had some unique ideas for the constantly changing band. First off, they adopted both inspiration and musical talents from multiple celebrities of the indie rock scene, including, but not limited to Leslie Feist, Charles Spearin, Emily Haines, Justin Peroff, and many others. While many of the earlier records, like You Forgot It In People and the self-titled, are more refined and structural, Forgiveness Rock Record takes on a more laid-back, drifting feel, with tracks like "Sweetest Kill" floating along with a bass line and drum rhythm chuggling along like the rhythmic motions of a train, rolling along, and releasing soft, puffy synths and mellow guitar riffs that float over the constantly pushing rhythm like exhaust, as a result of the core motions and parts.

Then, there are tracks like "Forced To Love," that have an easily flowing but more lively feel to them. The most prominent aspect of the track from the start is the rhythm set by the drums, easily controlling the tempo of the song, with layers upon layers of guitar riffing solos here and there, and a meaningful set of lyrics that garners ambiguity enough to may anyone think of themselves; "So if you think about it / What would you do? / You just demand that the plan say we are not lost / So let's think about it / Are we through yet? / It's just the time to decide if we can move up, up, up, up!" The lyrics, sung in a clear and powerful fashion by Kevin Drew, chose lyrics that were very articulate, lining up with the eighth-note rhythms in the drums with sharp precision. Couple this with a fuzzy guitar solo over the latter half of the song, and you have a wonderfully spirit-lifting song.

Ultimately, if one was to summarize Forgiveness Rock Record in one word, that word would be "lighthearted." It really is an album to be taken without a great deal of seriousness, and it's a fantastically fun album. While it does have pitfalls, the overall album itself could be perfect background music for just about anything. So if you're a fan of indie, folk, or just happy music, I'd really recommend the album. It just brings around some really good feelings, and it has the power to make a commute with friends into a fun shout choir session. The final note is, go out and have fun, dear readers, and don't forget to take Forgiveness Rock Record with you to make the experience captivating and noteworthy.

You can find the whole album on Broken Social Scene's own site.

Track Listing:
01) World Sick
02) Chase Scene
03) Texico Bitches
04) Forced To Love
05) All To All
06) Art House Director
07) Highway Slipper Jam
08) Ungrateful Little Father
09) Meet Me In The Basement
10) Sentimental X's
11) Sweetest Kill
12) Romance To The Grave
13) Water In Hell
14) Me And My Hand

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