Dreaming of the West Coast
The highly anticipated third album from Torontoâ€šÃ„Ã´s Broken Social Scene plays like the soundtrack to a dream-induced soirâˆšÂ©e on a wind-swept island in the Pacific. The band had originally intended on calling the album Windsurfing Nation, and with its West Coast vibe, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s easy to understand why. At times it becomes skewed by funk, Brazilian Jazz, vintage electronics, but at its heart, this self-titled album is a heavy dose of stream of conscious rock and roll.The lead track, â€šÃ„Ãº7/4 (Shoreline),â€šÃ„Ã¹ is as West Coast as it gets with its breezy horns and oceanic textures. It recalls some of the more flavorful moments of the previous album and sets the tone for the rest of this one. Kevin Drew tackles lead vocals on the verse, while Leslie Feist belts out the chorus with more swagger than she has shown before. The middle chunk of the album conjures up images of crystalline skies, and rolling blue waves. â€šÃ„ÃºFire Eyeâ€šÃ„Ã´d Boyâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is a shuffling opus with sing-a-long choruses and sonic guitar textures. â€šÃ„ÃºWindsurfing Nationâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is an offbeat anthem that features handclaps, background chatter, freestyle rapping, and honest lyrics like â€šÃ„ÃºYou can be what you want to be, alright.â€šÃ„Ã¹ One of the more unlikely songs on the album, â€šÃ„ÃºHotel,â€šÃ„Ã¹ is a bit of a departure for the band. Dripping with sex and funk, the track would be the resulting sound if My Bloody Valentine got together with Daft Punk for a one-night stand.
The album arguably runs a little long, but with its warm psychedelic production and layered instrumentation, Broken Social Scene is an album that continues to reveal its California-by-way-of-Canada blissful nature.