There is little that Broken Social Scene hasn’t done. It has released three albums that are all uniquely blissful and arguably have as much staying power as any band in modern rock not named Radiohead. So when Brendan Canning followed BSS’s other co-founder, Kevin Drew, in making a solo record and slapping the band’s name before it, there was much chatter about its sound. Despite Drew’s familiarity with BSS, he made his record his own by utilizing his charm and swagger. Now it’s time for Canning to put himself under the magnifying glass, with some help from his friends.
Like Drew’s album, Canning’s “Something for All of Us” starts off dirty and distorted. He repeats “Are you into it?” almost as if he’s unsure himself. You can hear Canning’s unmistakable bass work in the musical orgasm that is “Love is New.” However, while Drew shined with his straightforward melodies, Canning shines with his abstract imagination.
This record is very reminiscent of BSS’s debut, “Feel Good Lost.” Both albums refrain from depending on vocals and let musical subtleties paint the picture. “Chameleon” is accompanied by soft whispers while the tempo of the music takes charge. “Snowballs and Icicles” builds gently like an Iron & Wine song. “All the Best Wooden Toys to Come” falls on sweeping strings to guide you without a word. And the closer, “Take Care, Look Up,” leaves you in a deep sea, with nothing but stars above you.
Canning shows why he is such a pivotal part of BSS with this album. BSS has been the ultimate hybrid of accessibility and experimentation. While Drew’s solo act provided more instant haymakers, the quiet beauty and flow of Canning’s record may be more appealing to some looking for quiet intricacies. Just imagine when it puts the two together again.