Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene didn't have much to prove in 2002, but the ragtag Toronto indie-rock collective's messy, gorgeous You Forgot It in People changed all that. Buzz and anticipation might be foreign concepts now, but the band's third proper full-length sure doesn't sound aware of it. The same loose aesthetic that made Forgot so dreamy hasn't been rushed or overworked here -- in fact, the band might've grown more carefree since getting so much attention. "Windsurfing Nation" is BSS at its best, with a spastic dance breakbeat supported by crisp guitars, fuzzy feedback blurs, and four different choruses chanted and sung simultaneously: The result sounds as if all 11 members invented their own sections and made a party out of recording them simultaneously. Quality pervades on this disc, with the O.C. -ready bedroom-sing-along of "Swimmers," the warm bath of distorted guitars and trumpets on "Handjobs for the Holidays," the festival-ready guitar blasts and stuck-in-your-head chorus (It's comin'/It's comin' out!) of "7/4 (Shoreline)," and the 21st-century Neil Young approximation on "It's All Gonna Break." If more bands had nothing to prove, then maybe everything would sound as beautiful as this.


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