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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene
Arts & Crafts

Rating: 8/10 ?


November 8, 2005
For once, an eponymous disc has title that fits. Broken Social Scene's latest record feels like being caught up in a creative whirlwind; every song at some point grants you the position of the fly on the wall - being privy to a group of people just chilling out, making music and living the good life.

The revolving door of guests and members helps to solidify this party atmosphere. With each track comes a new voice, a new guitar style, a new sound: people come, wreak their havoc and head back out from whence they came.

Songs like "Ibi Dreams of Pavement" and "Major Label Debut" hearken back to 2002's You Forgot it in People, where the group's layered compositions stirred up dancing images of light in sound. However, most of BSS's latest disc just makes me want to dance.

The shift from unconventional movie-sounding music to unconventional party music is a fun change; while I long for the realist beauty of "Lover's Spit," I just can't help but get my groove on to the booty-shakeable "Windsurfing Nation." One of my favorite songs on the album, it takes its time building an atmosphere completed and accentuated by a rap from the also much-lauded K-Os. If the world of "Windsurfing Nation" was packaged in a box, it would be labeled "Instant Party." If only such an item existedů But this album comes close.

Broken Social Scene even follows the loose party timeline, starting out slow and working itself up into a frenzy before dwindling into the darkness outside. The denouement, "It's All Gonna Break," is at times weary, and at other times bombastic, but it wholly showcases the best this group has to offer: dynamic, thoughtful, layered compositions that seem to comment on the human condition more than lament their own tribulations.

Intact from You Forgot it in People is the tropical groove. Although not nearly as blatant as the coastal "Pacific Theme," "7/4 (Shoreline)" has a definitive feel of a drive along the beach. It is a perfect capture, oddly enough, from a band hailing from the Great White North.

So too, the group functions as a Who's Who of the Canadian indie scene, a much more dynamic and cohesive network than typically seen in the States. However, unlike many super groups, the names aren't nearly as impressive as the music. Feist's solo work and Evan Cranley and Amy Milan's recent record with Stars are some of the most acclaimed - or at least talked about - works of the year, but even with such talent, BSS rises well above the name game.

When listening to The New Pornographers, there's no question the chanteuse is Neko Case. Broken Social Scene, for the most part, drops the individual identities at the door in favor of a well deserved, brilliant overall impression.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David

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