Sep 27, 2007

Spirit If...-Kevin Drew

Is this a Broken Social Scene record? Or a Kevin Drew solo album? Confusing maybe. I believe this is a Kevin Drew solo project where he is front and centre, but he does get a huge helping hand from all his Canadian friends. In the end the only thing that matters is this. Is it good? The unfortunate answer is no. Actually, it is great. It is feast for the ears and the mind and most importantly, the heart. As Mr Drew so eloquently stated, this record is all about his favourite topics "fucking, fighting, fearing and hope". This is music with enormous reservoirs of heart and joy. It possesses that unique quality of great music. It makes you tingle with excitement upon hearing it and makes your heart flutter just that little bit.

If you love Broken Social Scene, then this eloquent slab of pleasure will be right up your alley. It contains all of their great qualities. Fuzzy guitar, sweeping choruses, aching melodies. You know those things that make us swoon and sway. "Farewell To The Pressure Kids" gets things rolling nicely. Kevin sounds like he singing down a well, with a full orchestra clattering around him. I like how the vocals become one with the instrumentation. All swirling and hectic it feels immediate and in your face. It ticks like a time bomb, setting the scene. The best thing about this music is the flow. It is seamless. "TBTF", "F--cked Up Kid" and "Safety Bricks" rollick along effortlessly with desirable harmonies. "Lucky Ones" takes it up a notch with its bold choruses and sweeping arrangements. There are some languid, dreamy moments here too. "Broke Me Up" and "Gang Bang Suicide" are almost tranquil and serene. When he sings "So when you die, will you leave behind, all the leaves that we sewed, to ourselves" I think my heart skips a beat. Someone, a very good judge, said the singer sounds almost childish. This strikes at the heart of the matter with the whole BSS thing. There is the paradox of child like wonder sitting next to base human emotions. The lyrics are about love and lust, hope and decay. Seemingly sweet and innocent there is a simple majesty at work here. It is probably captured best on my favourite song "Frightening Lives", a head rush of a song that threatens to explode. "Sex and our wills will stain our lips, now put it in your head, put it in your head", indeed. If black and white emotions of love and hate can exist perfectly in a song, it is on this album. "Aging Places/Losing Places" and "Bodhi Sappy Weekend" are other delights to savour. Of course Kevin Drew is helped out by all his "kids" including "Whiteman, Haines, Feist, Canning, Millan, Peroff, Penner". They are a most talented bunch. His biggest thanks on the liner notes are fellow BSS's and DMSThinkers Benchetrit and Spearin. "...thanks to Ohad for teaching me how to close my eyes again, and to Charlie for helping me breath." I recommend you close your eyes, listen to Sprit If... and then just breathe.
MP3: Tbtf


  • At September 27, 2007 , Blogger Oz said...

    A great album and it will be even better when I get to see BSS perform it live in November.

  • At September 28, 2007 , Anonymous Not Steve said...

    Good to see this great album getting the praise it deserves. A lot of people will dismiss it as a second rate BSS album but most of its songs are probably on par with anything of YFIIP or S/T i reckon.

  • At September 29, 2007 , Anonymous Sean said...

    One of my favourite records of the year. Love it.


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