Friday, October 10, 2008

BSS Presents: Brendan Canning - Something For All of Us...

The members of Broken Social Scene are numerous. Many of their names are now known outside of the band collective: Kevin Drew, Jason Collett, Leslie Feist, and Emily Haines. The founding members were Drew and Brendan Canning. After recording a few albums and touring with whoever was available (tour line ups) Kevin Drew wanted to record a solo album but still keep things close to BSS material. Thus began the Broken Social Scene Presents series. First in line was Kevin Drew (reviewed by me last year), and now it is Brendan Canning's turn. Being the lead vocalist for BSS, his crooning will sound familiar (if you know the band). He's usually very hushed, laid back, and can't always decipher his lyrics but he creates an extra layer to an already textured sound.

Something For All of Us... was released back at the end of July without a whole lof of fanfare, but it's a pretty solid album. I'm not sure what each of these members are trying to achieve by releasing "solo" albums. Maybe they feel more passionate about these songs that they could write without the help of the band setting. Maybe they just wanted different packaging. Maybe it's none of these things. A full-fledged BSS album has a distinctive sound, whereas these two "Presents" album do feel the same but different. On BSS studio releases there is a usually a large feeling of the collective. Whereas on these two individualized releases it feels only collaborative when they're playing together, and the songwriting came from the solo artists' vault. Brendan Canning does a sufficient job utilizing the various skills of his bandmates but doesn't really explore anything new or discover new uncharted territory. To be blunt, it's a pretty safe album. But, when you're good a safe album is better than many many things. I would have been a little interested to hear some new thoughts or experimentation, but that doesn't happen on this record. I still think seeing BSS live is the best way to go. I haven't had that luxury, but I imagine it would be quite a show. You never know who's going to show up, but it would probably be a great experience. The first single is "Hit the Wall" and is the best song on the album. Enjoy.

"Hit the Wall"

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