Broken Social Scene, 'Forgiveness Rock Record' (Arts & Crafts)

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Forgiveness Rock Record
Critical Mass
Label: Arts & Crafts

by Spencer Kornhaber

There was a time -- 2005 -- when the best description for this Canadian collective was to say it's everyone playing everything and it's awesome. While that still mostly applies, their fourth full-length has certain recurring quirks: skittery hi-hats, guitar lines to whistle along to, junk poetry sneered as if into a wind chamber. Blame a new emphasis on songwriting, never their strength, over sound-making. Standouts like tribal thumper "World Sick" and the Skynyrd-via-Dinosaur Jr. jam "Art House Director" brim with energy, but other tracks lack their trademark spontaneity.

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