Broken Social Scene
You Forgot It in People
/arts&crafts; 2002/



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This past week I ate twice with my favorite record store clerk. On the first time we talked about how disappointed we were with Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love and how much we were moved by Julianne Moore in Magnolia. We also dreamed of a perfect record store with only great albums in which the lovely sentence "no, sorry, we only have great albums here" would be said with a delighted smile about a million times a week.

When I enter the store I'm surprised by the music, which sounds quite familiar. I'm delighted to see that there's a new Buck 65 album out. I had heard Man Overboard during the summer and it was all I could listen to for about a month. Man Overboard and Sage Francis' Personal Journals. Well, so I tell my friend how much I liked the previous album and he tells me that this one sounds really good. I ask him, only half joking, if he has a used copy of Do Make Say Think's Goodbye Enemy Airship the Landlord is Dead, and, well, he doesn't. We end up talking about all the Constellation bands and how we're growing bored of them. And I tell him about Broken Social Scene, which is filled with members from various Canadian bands such as Silver Mt. Zion, Do Make Say Think and Stars. He's like "great, one more shitty side project, like that Set Fire to Flames album." We argue for a while since I happen to love the Set Fire to Flames album. But after a couple of minutes I realize that it's not really the point since Broken Social Scene doesn't sound like the Constellation bands. It's post-pop I guess. They stole my band's pre-conceived label. I make him listen to KC Accidental, the second track, which sounds like a euphoric Do Make Say Think on speed ("perfect for running" as one of my friends said) and then we listen to Almost Crimes, which is the best catchy pop song I've heard in a while. He tells me to burn him a copy of it and we go to the cafeteria next door.

I haven't really finished listening to You Forgot It in People. Usually, when I find a good song on an album, and I mean, a really good song, I can't go further and all I can do is listen to that great song until I know it by heart and then I can move forward. So on the first day I stopped at track 2, KC Accidental. It's weird when the first song (track one is a short instrumental) is great because you're suspicious about the quality of the rest of the album. On the second day I listen to track 3, Stars and Sons, which is very good but not good enough for me to stop and listen to it over and over again and then I listen to Almost Crimes. There are two singers, a girl and a guy intertwining vocals and deliveries. I decide that two great songs out of three is already impressive and I decide to rest for a while and go to the movies. I make my boyfriend listen to it and he loves it as well. 

You can't really hear it but there are at least ten people playing on each song. The result is an impressively melodic and cohesive wall of sound. Despite all the instruments it never sounds luxurious or mashed up. The arrangements are inventive and suit the songs perfectly. 

The two following pieces, the laid-back Looks Just Like the Sun and the appropriately titled Pacific Theme allow me to spend the next two days resting lazily. On the fifth day I listen to Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl and once again I'm impressed. At first you can't help but be surprised by the sped up vocals and the banjo. But then she starts singing "drop that phone/park that car/sleep on the floor/dream about me" over and over again like an hypnotic incantation to make Steve the quarterback fall for her, and delicate strings lift the song high in the sky, far above your smiling face. I take a couple of days off in the city to catch up with reality. I eat with my record store clerk friend and we talk about how cute Chan Marshall is and how lousy French rock critics are. I wander through the rainy streets with the song buzzing in my head and SEB and I DJ in a sufficiently crowded bar in the evening. I come back on the seventh day. I listen to all the remaining songs in a row in a desperate attempt to try to make my recomposed family realize that I'm feeling ok. Cause=Time ends in an impressive way. Late Nineties Bedroom Rock for the Missionaries is less impressive even though it's still better than most of the songs you've heard this past month (except if you were in the bar where SEB and I DJ'd). Shampoo Suicide is a great song title. It features layers and layers of a girl's voice -singing loudly in the distance, whispering and speaking- and crushes all the already damaged shields on the way to your heart. I catch my breath and open the window for fresh air. Lover's Spit is a gorgeous epic love song. I'm Still Your Fag, despite the title is the song that impresses me the less. Pitter Patter Goes my Heart is the great closer of a great album you have to listen to if you're starving for great music. I drink a huge glass of cold milk and pass out.

-Barbara H

/mar 1st 2003/