Broken Social Scene: The Indie Rock Collective That Broke All Boundaries
Broken Social Scene is a Canadian indie rock band that formed in 1999 and released four studio albums, including their self-titled album in 2005. The band is known for their eclectic and expansive sound, featuring a rotating cast of musicians and collaborators from various genres and backgrounds. The band's self-titled album was a critical and commercial success, showcasing their ability to create anthemic and experimental songs that reflected their diverse influences and personalities.
In this article, we will explore the history and legacy of Broken Social Scene's self-titled album, as well as some of the challenges and achievements that the band faced during its recording and release. We will also discuss some of the highlights and themes of the album, and how it influenced the indie rock scene and beyond.
The Making of Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene's self-titled album was the result of a long and tumultuous process that spanned over two years. The band had gained popularity and acclaim with their previous album, You Forgot It in People, which was released in 2002 and won the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year. The album featured guest appearances from notable Canadian artists such as Feist, Emily Haines, Amy Millan, Jason Collett, and Leslie Feist. The band also embarked on extensive tours across North America and Europe, gaining a loyal fanbase and critical praise.
However, the band also faced some difficulties and pressures during this period. The band's core members, Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning, had to deal with personal issues such as breakups, health problems, and family deaths. The band also had to cope with the expectations and demands of their record label, Arts & Crafts, which was co-founded by Drew and Canning. The label wanted the band to produce a more accessible and commercial follow-up to You Forgot It in People, while the band wanted to maintain their artistic integrity and freedom. The band also had to balance their individual projects and commitments with their collective vision and identity.
The band decided to record their new album in various locations across Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, New York, London, and Reykjavik. They enlisted the help of several producers, engineers, and musicians, including John McEntire of Tortoise, Dave Newfeld of Stars, Tony Doogan of Mogwai, JÃrgen TrÃen of Jaga Jazzist, Jim O'Rourke of Sonic Youth, David Axelrod of The Electric Prunes, Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think, Charles Spearin of The Happiness Project, Justin Peroff of Junior Blue, Andrew Whiteman of Apostle of Hustle, Lisa Lobsinger of Reverie Sound Revue, Murray Lightburn of The Dears, K-os of Joyful Rebellion, Evan Cranley of Stars, Torquil Campbell of StarsThe Reception and Legacy of Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene's self-titled album was released on October 4, 2005, and received widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike. The album debuted at number 6 on the Canadian Albums Chart and number 113 on the US Billboard 200, making it the band's highest-charting album to date. The album also earned the band their second Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year in 2006, as well as nominations for Group of the Year and Music DVD of the Year for their documentary The Beautiful Noise.
The album was praised for its adventurous and cohesive sound, its emotional and lyrical depth, and its impressive array of guest appearances. Pitchfork gave the album a score of 8.4 out of 10 and named it Best New Music, writing that \"the band's once-refined studio sound is blown up into a pixilated blur of blood-gush guitars and squall-of-sound production that's somehow meticulously unhinged.\"[^1^] Rolling Stone gave the album four out of five stars, calling it \"a sprawling masterpiece that showcases a dozen-plus musicians in peak form.\"[^2^] AllMusic gave the album four and a half out of five stars, describing it as \"a stunning example of how much a band can grow when given time to mature.\"[^3^]
The album also influenced many other indie rock bands and artists, such as Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, The National, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, and Sufjan Stevens. The album's expansive and collaborative approach inspired many musicians to experiment with different sounds and genres, as well as to form their own collectives and side projects. The album also helped to establish Toronto as a major hub for indie music, along with other Canadian cities such as Montreal and Vancouver.
The Highlights and Themes of Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene's self-titled album features 14 tracks that range from epic rock anthems to intimate ballads, from noisy instrumentals to catchy pop songs. The album showcases the band's diverse musical influences and talents, as well as their personal struggles and triumphs. Some of the standout tracks include:
\"7/4 (Shoreline)\": The album's lead single and one of its most accessible songs, featuring a catchy chorus sung by Feist and a horn-driven melody. The song is about finding hope and love amid chaos and uncertainty.
\"Fire Eye'd Boy\": A fast-paced rocker with distorted guitars and drums, featuring vocals by Drew and Canning. The song is about being rebellious and passionate in a conformist society.
\"Superconnected\": A soaring anthem with layered vocals and strings, featuring contributions from Lightburn, K-os, Campbell, Cranley, Lobsinger, Whiteman, Peroff, Benchetrit, Spearin, Axelrod, O'Rourke, TrÃen, Doogan, McEntire, Newfeld, Drew, Canning. The song is about feeling connected to others through music and art.
\"Bandwitch\": A dark and atmospheric track with sparse vocals and piano, featuring contributions from Haines, Millan, Collett. The song is about feeling alienated and betrayed by the music industry.
\"It's All Gonna Break\": The album's closing track and its longest song at nearly 10 minutes. The song features a dynamic structure that shifts from quiet verses to loud choruses to a brass-led climax. The song is about facing adversity and overcoming challenges with optimism and resilience.
The album's overall theme is one of unity and diversity, of celebrating individuality and community. The album reflects the band's collective spirit and vision, as well as their personal stories and experiences. The album also expresses the band's love for music and art, as well as their gratitude for their fans and supporters. The album is a testament to the band's creativity and courage, as well as their enduring legacy in indie rock. aa16f39245