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Broken Social Scene

80 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 4, 2005
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Frequently Bought Together

Broken Social Scene + You Forgot It in People + Feel Good Lost
Price for all three: $48.04

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The massively anticipated follow-up to "You Forgot It In People," the Canadian cult BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE deliver an amazing new LP, filled with monumental songs layered with huge choruses, symphonic arrangements to compliment their many instruments and vocalists, and the intimate/experimental/hooky sound that makes their headphone and rock-out appeal a 2-pronged-force to be reckoned with. This is NON LIMITED VERSION of Self Titled release.

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Bands that draw musicians from other well-known acts are called "supergroups." Broken Social Scene is a supercollective. Ranging from five to 17 members, the Toronto-based outfit includes musicians from Stars, Metric, and many other bands, as well as the up-and-coming Leslie Feist. Frontmen Kevin Drew (formerly of Do Make Say Think) and Brendan Canning (By Divine Right, Len) founded BSS in 1999 and their mission has stayed constant: take a deep love of indie rock and expand on that by making experimental mini-symphonies. Their latest work is not so much a series of songs as it is a musical mood. The infectious cacophony comes through immediately, opening with a rapidly-expanding collection of xylophones and trombones that create Burt Bacharach-style instrumental jaunts, while Kevin Drew's vocals whisper through the melodic mayhem. Notable tracks--from the rhythmic "Fire Eye'd Boy," to the gorgeously floaty "Major Label Debut," to "Ibi Dreams of Pavement" (featuring rapper K-Os)--have two elements in common: all feature expansive melodies and all have vocals consciously (sometimes annoyingly) buried quite low in the mix. However, the CD's highlight (and disc-closer), "It's All Gonna Break," holds the key to BSS's beauty; it's simultaneously far-reaching and uplifting, a near-perfect 10 minutes of music. The limited edition version of this release also contains a seven-song EP filled with some of the dropped songs and an alternative version of "Major Label Debut". --Denise Sheppard


1. Our Faces Split the Coast in Half
2. Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)
3. 7/4 (Shoreline)
4. Finish Your Collapse and Stay for Breakfast
5. Major Label Debut
6. Fire Eye'd Boy
7. Windsurfing Nation
8. Swimmers
9. Hotel
10. Handjobs for the Holidays
11. Superconnected
12. Bandwitch
13. Tremoloa Debut
14. It's All Gonna Break

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arts & Crafts
  • ASIN: B000AP2ZT4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,947 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Scott Louis on October 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Broken Social Scene, a loose collective of up to 17 people from all around Canada, has a well-elaborated history. De-facto band leader Kevin Drew (Do Make Say Think) and Brendan Canning have, since 1999, been committed to their mission of creating beautiful indie rock. Broken Social Scene's debut, Feel Good Lost, was an album-long instrumental that left many (me included) wondering where this supercollective was going. Then, in 2002, "You Forgot it In People" hit like a hydrogen bomb. Here, we had musicians famous for making 10-20 minute epics compressing themselves into a 4 minute pop song. And it really, really worked. YFIIP was nearly flawless.

"Broken Social Scene" was, due to the immense popularity of YFIIP, one of the most widely-anticipated albums of 2005. Anyone familiar with the band could not wait to see the direction they went next. This record, it turns out, is an interesting hybrid of their first two recordings. There are remnants of the instrumentals of "Feel Good Lost," somehow magically intertwined with the pop feel of YFIIP.

The real difference in these albums is the feel of the recording. YFIIP was tight, composed, and put together. It was BSS at 10am, ready to take on the world. This album gives us a glimpse at BSS at 730, just waking up, not yet ready, but still brilliant.

That being said, there is something a bit...off about this record. It almost feels like there are TOO many good ideas going on at once, and that they are thrown together when the creation of two songs would have been more appropriate. That is not to say that this record is not glorious, just that it takes some time to get used to.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tom on December 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Here's five good reasons for liking this album:

1) The concept is interesting. The band, with between five and seventeen members, shifts shape like an amoeba, with some songs sounding relatively spare and stripped down while others provide a wall of sound approach.

2) The music is fresh and innovative, simultaneously off-the-cuff and structured, borrowing heavily from the My Bloody Valentine approach whereby vocals and instrumental details are often buried deep in the mix while still contributing to the overall atmosphere of the song.

3) The hooks are often gorgeous and get catchier with repeated listenings, meaning that the more familiar you become with the music, the more you will take from it.

4) Again like My Bloody Valentine, vocal duties are divided between male and female lead singers and both are equally effective and evocative.

5) They don't sound like anyone else.

In short, this is a CD that you will likely still be playing

frequently in six months or a year. Just really, really good music.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Turner on December 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
i can see why alot of people are put off by this album, its alot different than BSS's last record "you forgot it in people"...but after an album that great, what direction do you go? Do you make the same album again? Do you pull a Neutral Milk Hotel and quit while you're ahead? or do you venture into entirely new territory?

you forgot it in people was all about a gentle, breezy flow. the songs came and went and left you feeling happy and satisified. This self titled album is a different beast all-together. This album is about confusion, worry, and doubt. Alot of people dont like the production job Dave Newfeld did, but personally i love it. I think the washed out sound fits perfectly with the vibe the album is going for. I mean, they've said that they had a different version of "ibi dreams of pavement" with cranked up vocals all ready to go, but they shelved it. I can see why...the song sounds amazing buried beneath a wall of sound. these tracks, to me, sound exaclty the way they should.

And production and sound aside, theres some flat out amazing songs on this album. "7/4 (shoreline)" is probably the best song i've heard all year(but of course im a little biased towards Leslie Feist). Song for song i personally enjoy it more than you forgot it in people, but i try to avoid comparing the two. One major plus as far as im concerned is the more dominate role horns play in the mix, adding a huge emotional punch to alot of the tracks.

ibi dreams of pavement, 7/4 shoreline, fire eye'd boy, windsurfing nation, swimmers, handjobs for the holidays, superconnected, banwitch, it's all gonna break, there's just too many FANTASTIC songs on this album to hold any negative technical opinions against it, because the songwriting is so superb. But, unlike you forgot it in people, this isnt an album just anyone could pick up and enjoy. It's more difficult, but i love it just the same.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Gockman on October 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
First thing I will say is this is a very different album than the masterpiece "You Forgot It In People". Now, I say that it is a step down from their previous effort, but I remember that it took me many months to realize the absolute perfection of YFIIP.

One thing I can state now before this album is embedded in my brain is that the lyrics are not as good. One of the things that bothers me about this album is the lines that are mediocore that are repeated. Lines like: "If you always wake up late you're never gonna be on time" or "I really don't want to think about those things no more". There are also a few songs that just get 'lost in the shuffle' like "Superconnected", "Fire Eye'd Boy" or "Canada Vs. America(from the bonus EP)" that just seem like formulaic Broken Social Scene rock songs which I never thought I'd hear myself say after hearing the diversity of YFIIP. Nonetheless every song on this CD is good, a few just blend together. A complaint for me, but what others may prefer, is that there is a lack of instrumentals on this album which is a Broken Social Scene trademark, especially since the debut Feel Good Lost was almost entirely instrumental. The 2 instrumental songs (unless you count the humming on "Our Faces Split The Coast In Half" as instrumental) both clock under 2 minutes which is also very disappointing.

On the brighter side, this album differs a lot from YFIIP. One of the things I love about this band is that they have been evolving since day 1 not only in members (2 to 17) but also in music, and that is apparent on this album. This album touches on genres that I never thought (or hoped) that they would touch but they do it so well.
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