Broken Social Scene

Arts & Crafts

One of the most intriguing aspects of Broken Social Scene’s brand of indie rock is the amalgamation of all the different influences brought to the table by the extensive list of Canadian collaborators. Again, on Forgiveness Rock Record, the principal players are present—Feist contributes vocals, Stars’ Evan Cranley appears on several tracks, and Metric frontwoman Emily Haines follows up penning a song for the latest Twilight movie to cut a track reminiscent of the band’s hypnotic “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl.” Even former Death From Above 1979 vocalist/drummer Sebastien Grainger drops by. However, despite all the contributions, the album seems by and large to be the brain child of founding member Kevin Drew. It bears a striking resemblance to his 2007 solo album Spirit If … with deliberately rough edges similarly being buffed to a polished finish via smooth synthesizers, strings and sparkling production. Still, the BSS tradition is present here. Much of the sparse ambiance that characterized the band’s debut, Feel Good Lost, is present in tracks like “Highway Slipper Jam,” as is the occasional noisy, frantic crescendo (“Water in Hell”) that the band is known for sneaking into its otherwise breezy numbers.