This week makes me miss the days when I would go to the record store, buy a CD I had been waiting for, get in my car and open in up and drive around for an hour while listening to it. The anticipation, the opening of the physical media, the artwork and first new sounds from my favorite band coming out my speakers.
Forgiveness Rock Record is one of those albums I have been waiting for. I have been waiting a few years. But the experience of importing into my iTunes and listening to it this week has been dulled by the fact that I heard a few of the singles months ago when they were leaked, I saw a lot of the songs performed live at SXSW in March and I have been streaming the album on NPR for the past couple weeks.
That being said, Broken Social Scene have released the album I hoped they would release. At first I was scared about the new sound. A rock record? From BSS? I just didn’t know if that would work. But it does because this isn’t a straight-up rock record. Sure, there are a lot more lyrics than their other albums and Kevin Drew has become somewhat of a rock star…but the soundscapes are still here, the sounds that could only be Broken Social Scene. So while this is a change for the Canadian collective, it still has their DNA. You would never mistake this album for anyone else.
It’s pretty amazing that this album exists in the first place. The Broken Social Scene collective has been through their rough times. Starting out as a ragtag crew of Canadian musicians just having fun, they grew into something much bigger. Love affairs, fights and solo fame (for some) led these musicians down their own paths. But thankfully for us those paths crossed again and Forgiveness was found. Sure, Feist only contributes some backing vocals and Emily Haines only sings on one song…but Kevin Drew and Brandon Canning, along with Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, Andrew Whiteman and Lisa Lobsinger make a collective no one can complain about.
The album has a 63 minutes run-time and includes sprawling arena rock ready songs like World Sick, the oil company smackdown, Texico Bithches; the proof Lisa Lobsinger can hold her hold, All to All; the horn filled Art House Director, my live favorite from SXSW, Forced to Love; the ironically poppy Water In Hell and of course the masturbatory closer, Me and My Hand.
All in all this makes for another sprawling masterpiece from one of the best bands around today. Might even be the album of the year!