Nothing to forgive here


Grade: A-

It's been nearly five years since the last Broken Social Scene album, and quite a bit has happened to the large Canadian collective in that time.

In 2007, Leslie Feist and Kevin Drew released critically acclaimed solo albums that received quite a bit of mainstream media attention and helped introduce the band to a wider audience.

With so many changes occurring for the band, and so many people expecting brilliance from their next album, it was unclear if they would be able to live up to the immense pressure surrounding their album.

Thankfully, with the release of Forgiveness Rock Record, the band's fourth album, those fears have been put to rest. This is a marvelous, ambitious album that shows the band has not lost any of their edge after achieving such fame. They are as sprawling and creative as ever.

This becomes immediately clear on the first track, "World Sick," an epic, seven-minute jam reminiscent of the group Built to Spill. The band's strong musicianship comes through here, and it's hard not to appreciate how truly talented they are.

Not all of the tracks are quite as epic, however. Songs like "Texico Bitches" and "Arthouse Director" show that the band is more than capable of constructing catchy post-rock choruses along with their bombast.

Still, the album's finest point comes on "All to All", a minimalist track which harkens back to their post rock beginning. The guitar playing here is truly marvelous, and the song's message of forgiveness – where the album title comes from – is memorizing. Indeed, the members of BSS are just as capable of being serious as they at having fun.

This is a fine record from a band that is inching toward mainstream fame without forgetting what made them great in the first place. There is nothing close to a sellout on this record, but it still promises to be their best one yet. Not because it's commercial, but because it's just that good.

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