A Review of Broken Social Scene’s New Album, “Forgiveness Rock Record”

By Elliott Sencan

Broken Social Scene has always been a playground for experimental ideas, a revolving door of talented musicians in the heart of the Toronto rock scene. There have been as many as 15 band members at any given moment, with members joining and leaving the band seemingly on a per track basis. However, this somewhat chaotic band organization has led to some brilliant records, with “You Forgot it In People” and their self-titled record being chock full of grand indie anthems just as suitable for the festival stage as it is for an intimate headphone listen.

Since those albums, the band had taken a five-year hiatus, as the band members splintered off to write solo albums under the banner of “Broken Social Scene Presents…” Their most recent album finds the band a trimmed and slimmed beas with only seven full time members, but, luckily, decreasing the quantity of bandmates hasn’t affected the quality of their music, as “Forgiveness Rock Record” is a fantastic, evolved BSS album from start to finish.

Anyone familiar with their past work will notice almost immediately the tighter, more focused sound on this record, yet this is still not a jarring departure from their old work. There is instantly likeable and catchy “Art House Director,” the slow building, swirling sounds of “World Sick,” the foot stomping guitar driven “Forced to Love,” the relaxed folksy “Ungrateful Father” and the beautiful and joyous sounding “Sentimental X”;   there is really something for everyone to enjoy here, and, at over an hour, quite a bit of it too.

Some of the usual suspects still show up for a guest appearance here and there, including members of Pavement, Metric, the Sea and Cake, Tortoise and Leslie Feist. Overall, it’s a solid entertaining effort from one of our favorite bands out of Canada; throw this one on your iPod and give it a listen already.

Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record