Hug Of Thunder
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Hug Of Thunder
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Hug Of Thunder marks the fifth studio album from Canadian alt-rock supergroup Broken Social Scene, their first in seven years. Founded in '99 by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning, the new album features 17 players and 15 original members including Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric, Amy Millan and Evan Cranley of Stars, Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think, and Grammy-nominated Leslie Feist.
Hug Of Thunder is everything BSS fans love from the Canadian collective and then some, an album overflowing with glorious open chords, multi-voice harmonies, spacious psychedelia-tinted breakdowns, and more. It is a panoramic, expansive album that manages to be both epic and intimate; and like all things BSS, in troubled times, it offers a serotonin rush of positivity. Since their inception in the early Aughts, BSS have always pushed sonic boundaries while remaining reverent of a perfect chorus; almost twenty years down the line, Hug Of Thunder sharpens that balance and then some. The record's twelve songs refract the band's varying emotions, methods, and techniques in ways that not only reference their other albums, but surpass them. Hug Of Thunder is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. And if you've ever fallen in love with Broken Social Scene - as many of us have - it is a perfect return that was truly worth the wait.
Hug Of Thunder was produced by Joe Chiccarelli (White Stripes, Spoon, The Strokes) with Nyles Spencer, and mixed by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer).
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Hug of Thunder never quite reaches the height of their brilliant self-titled record (in part because it is much more heavily produced and lacks some of the grittiness that makes their peaks so great), but it is a record of diverse but complementary sounds that melt together into a kaleidoscopic indie rock gem. Its highlights (Halfway Home, Protest Song, Skyline, and Hug of Thunder) make it worth the listen alone, but the album as a whole is just one more entry that displays the pedigree of this collection of superstars.
I'm not usually finicky about dynamic range, some of my favorite songs have a relatively low rating, but when it gets to an average this low, that's when I'll complain. It's the reason that a couple recent albums released by favorite artists of mine were completely tossed, when the album was DR3 - 5.
Hug of Thunder was seriously very close to getting the boot, but I gave it a few more listens and still managed to fall in love with it. It's got some catchy tunes and great lyrics. Here's hoping future albums are better produced, though. I'm not listening to music with crummy Apple ear buds.
So if you want the CD, more power to you. But if you've also gotten used to Amazon's ALMOST automatic auto-rip for streaming, then just be aware this does not come with it. Hope you still have a computer with a CD drive.
FYI: If you buy the Vinyl, it comes with a free download card for the digital copy!