Monday, July 7, 2008

You Forgot It In People - Broken Social Scene (SUMMER 2008)

You Forgot It In People

Broken Social Scene
Arts and Crafts.

SCQ Rating: 93%

In the Spring of 2004, as ‘Almost Crimes’ was topping campus charts all over Canada, I was beginning my first and only bout of Summer School – a studio art credit to make up for a year of anthropology naps. Living in my student house without a roommate to speak of, I’d wander home from my nightclass to find every window black; an apartment waiting for someone to give it life. As fate would have it, this particular night found a burned copy of You Forgot It In People, scribbled over and tucked within a makeshift envelope, waiting under my door as well. In the coming weeks, each project my friend and I undertook – whether it included shoebox cameras, paint and canvas, or pencil sketches – were all completed to the Toronto collective’s breakthough effort; its endless flow from one song to another fit perfectly to the art we were creating.

The raw edges of ‘KC Accidental’ and ‘Almost Crimes’ slide euphorically into ‘Looks Just Like the Sun’ and ‘Pacific Theme’, the latter an impressive centerpiece that gradually proves far better than its elevator-inspired source material. What really makes You Forgot It In People a spectacular summer album isn’t the wonderful memories I’ve attached from that art-affected season, but the sun-kissed freedom it implies with each plucked banjo-string (‘Anthem for a Seventeen Year Old Girl’) or distorted Sonic Youth riff (‘Cause=Time’). No BSS-associated record has proven their power in numbers like this one, as each song melds styles, influences and instruments that only a focused troupe of so many could tightly pull together.

Despite the aforementioned euphoric sensations, You Forgot It In People erupts from a dark and slightly disturbed mindset. You can hear the drone beneath and between many of these sunny tracks; the dense hum of strange voices that cry under ‘Pacific Theme’, or the cathartic ramblings that litter ‘Shampoo Suicide’. If in doubt, look up some lyrics. Like the best works of art, You Forgot It In People cannot be easily-assessed; it's sweltering, dysfunctional stuff, and it's entirely brilliant.

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