Take a Spin: 'Forgiveness' worth a listen

May 27 2010 - 9:48pm

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"Forgiveness Rock Record." Broken Social Scene.
"Forgiveness Rock Record." Broken Social Scene.

Indie rock

"Forgiveness Rock Record." Broken Social Scene. Canadian indie-rock supergroup Broken Social Scene broke out back in 2002 with the release of the collective's second album, "You Forget It in People."

The band followed up that instant classic in 2005 with a somewhat lesser self-titled release, and members went on to find success with solo careers and other projects (for example, Leslie Feist, Stars and Metric).

The band's long-awaited new album, "Forgiveness Rock Record," is a mixed bag of the group's talents, an uneven blend of artistic verve and creative malaise.

Teaming with famed Chicago post-rock producer/percussionist John McEntire (Tortoise, Sea and Cake), "Forgiveness" melds theatrical Arcade Fire-style rave-ups, slouching '90s alt-pop and soccer-mom/cool-dad rock with varying degrees of effectiveness.

The album moves from the wide-eyed psyche pop of "World Sick" to the paranoid electronic pulse of "Chase Scene." "Texico Bitches" is a buoyant slice of classic indie guitar-pop, while "Forced to Love" is a nervy blend of twitchy New Wave and blue-collar rock.

While these moments shine, the album drags in its middle, bogged down with long-winded snoozers and half-baked rockers. The album perks up toward its back end, but by that time "Forgiveness" has lost most of its momentum.

There is an EP's worth of choice material here, but as a full-length, it fills out a good portion of its parameters with filler. Of course, considering the quality of its signature album, Broken Social Scene has a lot to live up to.

"Forgiveness Rock Record" might not have the material to be called an instant classic, but there is enough here that goes right that warrants checking out.

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