Forgiveness Rock Record

Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Forgiveness Rock Record is not the sound of Broken Social Scene dumbing themselves down; it's the band taking their sound to its logical conclusion. Few people would've guessed that in doing so, they've stumbled upon their second straight-up masterpiece.
  2. Forgiveness Rock Record's thematic bent is mature, and that sense of gravity is embedded into the music, too.
  3. The album takes its cues from its stellar opener, "World Sick," which swells and booms and tries to embrace the global and the personal all at once, while never forgetting to swing.
  4. Though they've trimmed their lineup to seven members, the band's repertoire of art-rock anthems and hazy folk jams has survived intact.
  5. It's fantastic, as is so much of Forgiveness Rock Record, a collation of so many talents that it's practically bursting at the seams.
  6. Alternative Press
    80
    The breathable production and quality arrangements allow the band's instantaneously familiar melodies to glow. [May 2010, p.102]
  7. Forgiveness Rock Record might lack the romance of Funeral but it's far more alive than Neon Bible, with an urgency and energy that invigorates rather than drains.
  8. Forgiveness Rock Record is less about the eccentric and more about a band that, 10 years on, seems to be coming into its own. The endearing songwriting idiosyncrasies still exist (heck, the band concludes the album with two minutes of indie-soul titled "Me and My Hand"), but this is a Broken Social Scene more ready for mass consumption. And, for once, that is not a bad thing.
  9. Luckily, the endlessly creative and surprisingly fluid Forgiveness Rock Record dispels any notion of opportunism by sticking to what the group does best: crafting clever, ramshackle, occasionally soaring bedroom pop songs (listen close for sirens) in a big expensive studio.
  10. Despite the aimlessness of much of FRR's second half, nailing it is what BSS do brilliantly. There are enough moments of standout glory in the first half to sate any fan of this band, whatever part of their work they admire.
  11. Across Forgiveness there's countless reminders of why you loved BSS.
  12. It's tempting to hate it for failing to recapture their earlier unhinged, chaotic glory. But doing so would be to miss out on how good they've become (despite themselves).
  13. Forgiveness Rock Record is simply evidence of the fact that Broken Social Scene are still very much kings and queens of a world they helped create.
  14. Mojo
    80
    A sprawling and lengthy affair, this album rarely falters. [June 2010, p. 98]
  15. Q Magazine
    80
    They pare their sound back to delicate guitar work, shimmering ambience and heart-tugging harmonies, making them now as easy to love as admire. [Jun 2010, p.120]
  16. Essentially, Forgiveness Rock Record finds Broken Social Scene trading "big and loud" for "wide and warm" and as a result sounding like they've really just settled further into their identity as a band.
  17. The track "Water in Hell" is an anthemic rocker with a catchy, shout-along chorus ("From what I can tell/There's water in hell!"), and "Forced to Love" combines the band's usual grit and a hook that unexpectedly sticks, similar to "Cause = Time" from its 2002 breakthrough release, "You Forgot It in People." Strangely enough, the new album's less pop-driven songs are hit or miss.
  18. Clocking in with 14 wide-screen songs, "Forgiveness Rock Record" sounds trim and taut at nearly every turn. McEntire's nimble production keeps all the layers distinct, even when the band is whipping up a tender maelstrom of fey orchestration.
  19. The new BSS album may already have a lock on most dynamic record of the year.
  20. 70
    Their fourth full-length has certain recurring quirks: skittery hi-hats, guitar lines to whistle along to, junk poetry sneered as if into a wind chamber. Blame a new emphasis on songwriting, never their strength, over sound-making.
  21. the bulk of the tracks are the work of a septet consisting of frontman Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger, Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, and Andrew Whiteman. That makes for a more streamlined, accessible album than many of BSS's devotees might expect, but it also makes for a more mature recording.
  22. They may have traded in a certain sort of urgency and sprawl, but there's a certitude to the whole affair that makes the album go down easy.
  23. True, at an hour-plus, only myopic fans would contest Forgiveness drags a little by the end, albeit brightened by penultimate Pavement-a-like ditty 'Water In Hell'.
  24. Here, Canada's indie rock A-Team hasn't just reunited--it has border-hopped, aligning with kindred Great Lakes huddle-for-warmth art-rock communards in Chicago, where Tortoise leader John McEntire produced an antsier version of a great BSS record.
  25. They've never let us down before, and they don't here, as frustrating as it is to hear the band fall just short of crafting something incredible. All the songs stand up, but the album loses steam and focus and begins to drag by the end of its 65 minute running time.
  26. As much as Broken Social Scene's identity is wrapped up in it's concept as a collective, their most transcendent moments are not their speedy grandiose party anthems but are instead the small soft details like the band setting into a slow almost improvisational groove in "Sweetest Kill" or the hushed vocals of Emily Haines, Leslie Feist and Amy Millan singing in poignant unison on "Sentimental X's."
  27. Though clearly as replete with imagination as they are with personnel, Broken Social Scene would benefit from the attentions of a less indulgent producer.
  28. Whereas BSS' two previous albums indulge the group's pop sensibilities while showcasing its knack for rock anthems, Forgiveness cremates and scatters these strengths over an intimidating and overwrought runtime.
  29. Forgiveness Rock Record doesn't provide anything interesting to talk about in and of itself. Its actual thematic talking points, as far as I can tell, tend toward political pedantry.
  30. Unfortunately, BSS spreads itself too thin on the back nine, which, with the noted exception of Emily Haines' yearning "Sentimental X's," sounds like solo project B-sides (Kevin Drew's dream echo "Sweetest Kill" and closer "Me and My Hand") and studio outtakes (instrumental "Meet Me in the Basement," "Highway Slipper Jam").
  31. Uncut
    40
    The album is reliant on the Scene's female associates--like Lisa Lobsinger on the lovely Moroderish cosmic disco of "All To All"--to bring character to whtat remain some pretty hazy jams. [Jun 2010, p.83]
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. May 10, 2011
    6
    I appreciate McEntire's production but overall he had little to work with since this IS BSS. There are some career defining tunes on thisI appreciate McEntire's production but overall he had little to work with since this IS BSS. There are some career defining tunes on this album but overall it's reach exceeds it's grasp. Full Review »
  2. Dec 4, 2010
    10
    Album of the year. Hands down. Forgiveness Rock Record is one of those album that you appreciate more and more with repeated listens. So ifAlbum of the year. Hands down. Forgiveness Rock Record is one of those album that you appreciate more and more with repeated listens. So if you haven't listened a thousands times, get on it. It isn't quite YFIIP. But it's close. And that's saying something. YFFIP is maybe the album of the decade. I love this band. I hope we don't have to wait another five years for more music. Full Review »
  3. Oct 27, 2010
    3
    Maybe I dont like this kind of music, but this is so inexpressive for me. This album hasnt think. External melodies pronouncedly spoil it. IMaybe I dont like this kind of music, but this is so inexpressive for me. This album hasnt think. External melodies pronouncedly spoil it. I am really disappointed of it. 3 Full Review »