Broken Social Scene

Record review

Phases & Stages

Broken Social Scene

(Arts & Crafts)

Between millions of voices and noises, harmonies and jangles, clutter and bang, the speakers are hissing. It's the sound being sucked back into the disc. In fact, the Toronto collective's third, eponymous long-player doesn't even exist in this dimension. Opener "Our Faces Split the Coast in Half" is translucent earth, a sugar-coated treat of hums and trumpet. After Kevin Drew screams, "You were there!" to "Ibi Dreams of Pavement (a Better Day)," Leslie Feist sidles in for "7/4 (Shoreline)," her lust equal to his excitement. "Major Label Debut" is sass and lethargy behind acoustic twang, as the "Fire Eye'd Boy" shoots into the cloud-striated atmosphere. K-Os rhymes "Windsurfing Nation," a song disguised as sweaty dusk. The subtleties of strum and moan roar quietly behind technology's sound, guitars becoming beats, songs becoming protest. "Superconnected" explodes and dives back underneath the strings. After the 10-minute "It's All Gonna Break" closes in a herald of brass and snare, the walls are prismatic. Packaged with the limited edition EP to Be You and Me, this album is alive. Eighteen Canadians, endless tape, and one long, beautiful song. Be quiet for one second. Just breathe. Hear that sound? That's what they call joy. (Broken Social Scene whips up Stubb's Thursday, Nov. 3.)


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