Music News

Broken Social Scene

Songs titled "Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl" and "I'm Still Your Fag" sleep together like lions and lambs on You Forgot It in People, which is finally seeing its U.S. release this month. Winner of the 2003 Juno Award for Best Alternative Album, People's musical range is defined by its first and last tracks -- a fog of instrumental space pop ("Capture the Flag") and a genteel violin ache ("Pitter Patter Goes My Heart"). Everything is balanced in between -- fingers are just as articulate as mouths, and the rock is just as good as the roll. "Cause = Time" flips its overgrown bangs with cool tosh, while the rousing garage sound of "Almost Crimes" kicks the chair out from under you. And "Anthems" may well be the best new song of the past six months. With violins and a banjo backing her ambient vocals, Emily Haines lampoons her teen years with swirling satire and sadness: "Park that car/Drop that phone/Sleep on the floor/Dream about me." You smile as you mourn the adolescent struggle. The cleverness is matched only by that of "Lover's Spit." That something normally considered repugnant becomes the manna of affection is an irony Broken Social Scene has captured with acumen and beauty: "All these people drinking lover's spit/Sit around and clean their face with it." It's a shiny new sound, and I can't stop listening.
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Marli Guzzetta