If you’re looking for a hint of what this album sounds like, look no further than “Broken Social Scene Presents:”. Thanks to the help from his Scenester friends on Spirit If…, Kevin Drew’s solo effort resembles the collective more than all other members’ albums. The familiar relaxed disquiet, artistic alt-rock, and rambling looseness are hallmarks of this album, and make it true kindred with the collective.
One thing’s for sure: this album has no shortage of different textures. The album starts off dramatically with a metallic wash of guitars and crashing drums on “Farewell to the Pressure Kids”. The next track, “TBTF”, is a slinking acoustic groove with an interesting drum sound sprinkled by bizarre, chiming interludes. “Broke Me Up” has an amazingly delicate, countrified jazz sound. “Lucky Ones” smashes acoustic & electric guitars into a full-blown, danceable sing-along that’s as smooth as anything to come out of the collective yet. Meanwhile, “Frightening Lives” has an interesting folk-industrial sound thanks to haunting electric guitar, built-in static, and synthetic drumbeat. Variation like this makes Spirit If… a truly diverse album.
While the outer edges of Broken Social Scene are making their own waves, the core is part of a series of albums called “Broken Social Scene Presents:”. Next year, Brendan Canning and Justin Peroff will release similar “solo” records. But this year alone, BSS members have released material as Apostle of Hustle, Feist, Stars, and Metric (re-issue), and all were excellent in their own right. Spirit If…, however, features pretty much every Scenester at some point, which makes it one big group effort of a solo album, and as the first in the series of BSS solo orgies, it’s a juicy hint of things to come.