Hug of Thunder Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length studio release for the Canadian alternative rock collective features many of the original members including Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric; Amy Millan and Evan Cranley of Stars; Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think; and Leslie Feist.
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Top Track

Hug of Thunder
Many years before I kept track of the years I felt I would Look back otherwise why did I write down everything that entered my mind Check out these... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 85
    In Hug Of Thunder, Broken Social Scene have managed to master the balance between spiky energy, tender melody and a singular knack for carving out a soaring chorus. Hug Of Thunder has undoubtedly been a long time coming, but it has unequivocally been worth the wait.
  2. Jul 6, 2017
    80
    Hug of Thunder is buoyant with inclusiveness and cautious hope.
  3. Jul 7, 2017
    80
    The more spacious, reflective nature of some of the tracks means that each member of the band gets a chance to shine in the spotlight. But there’s also a great amount of pleasure to be had simply from searching out all of the tiny details that add even more dynamism and intrigue than usual to the album.
  4. Jul 6, 2017
    70
    Some of it doesn’t work, a weakness that stems from bringing too many inspired minds together. But it’s also a welcome curse, and the experience they’ve gained has given them the excuse to just ride along with it without worry.
  5. Aug 3, 2017
    70
    Hug Of Thunder is a welcome return by Broken Social Scene. Dignified, grand and full of life, let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another seven years for their next record.
  6. Jul 11, 2017
    70
    Hug of Thunder feels exquisitely human with all the requisite limitations that come with a more balanced worldview. Broken Social Scene used to feel like everything, now they just feel like a very good band.
  7. Jun 28, 2017
    60
    Occasionally the record can lose focus, without a standalone frontman/woman--and while that doesn’t make Hug Of Thunder bad, it can feel disjointed, like listening to a decade-spanning compilation, moving through genres and line-ups with discombobulating results. Still, better to have too much than not enough.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Aug 1, 2017
    10
    I absolutely adore Hug of Thunder. It's so much more coherent than Forgiveness Rock Record was and it just feels right for the whole climateI absolutely adore Hug of Thunder. It's so much more coherent than Forgiveness Rock Record was and it just feels right for the whole climate around us at this time. Expand
  2. Jul 8, 2017
    9
    Be reminded, my opinion is only worth what you think it's worth... with that being said, he's a track-by-track review of this album, let it beBe reminded, my opinion is only worth what you think it's worth... with that being said, he's a track-by-track review of this album, let it be known that during this point of writing, I was optimistic... let's hope it pays off. *expand to see the whole thing*
    Sol Luna: A short instrumental track. Reminded me of Treefingers yet much more chaotic and disorganized. Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing in this case, however the purpose of this song is unrealized for it fizzles out too quickly. Considering what the next track was, I'm surprised this was how the album started. Still, good instrumentation for a song that was too short. (7/10)
    Halfway Home: The very first second of the song will be a surprise for everyone, with that being said, the actual song itself is very smooth yet rocky at the same time, with vocals that are produced with purpose, bridges that bring poignancy to the lyrics, and a guitar break that gives the listener a chance to breathe. It never stays in the same pattern, but it never becomes hard to follow along with. It may require less sensitive ears though. (9/10)
    Protest Song: Although the title indicates that this would be a political song, it appears to be referring to something much more personal (but I'm too clueless to figure it out.) The vocals are beautiful and are a nice contrast to the somewhat overproduced vocals from the second song. Although words are said over and over again, it always sounds different each time somehow. Also, THOSE DRUMS! (10/10)
    Skyline: The prettiest song so far, it's a song about managing to meet expectations (I think) that initially is an attack against someone else (you), before it ultimately turns back to the singer when he proclaims, "I shouldn't have come at all." Although the lyrics never change, the arrangement changes up just enough for it to never get repetitive, yet another perfect song. (10/10)
    Stay Happy: A slow and almost quiet one-minute build-up gives way to a song about maintaining a bad relationship. The vocals at times can get annoying (but that's my taste of course... plus when the background vocals came in, it soon created a satisfying harmony.) and the drumming itself doesn't blend quite as well with the other contributing instruments in the song. However, the guitars, bass, and random variety of instruments keep it from falling flat, and makes it an enjoyable instrumental experience. (8/10)
    Vanity Pail Kids: Although it starts off very raw, as soon as the guitars intensify with the drums, and the brass instruments come in, this song becomes a jungle. With quiet vocals, Kevin states what the listener will have to do to achieve many fantasies... also, there's a crying baby in the middle of it... if that isn't originality, I don't know what is. (10/10)
    Hug of Thunder: The title track is one that starts off a bit too mellow, that comes across as too tense, I never quite get into the groove of this song until the second half, when even more vocal effects come into the song and make it more haunting... when all of a sudden, a mellotron comes into the song, along with a variety of instruments, and gives it the big boom it had been searching for. This song will require a long... or at least what felt like a long wait to fully enjoy it. (8/10)
    Towers and Masons: The rawest song on this album within the first fifteen seconds, until it smoothly transitions into "ooh" vocals, powerful drums, and slick guitar arrangements. It almost seems as if the lyrics were arranged randomly at some points, which actually makes me more determined to find out the true meaning of this song. Also, satisfying synthesizer break in the middle. (9/10)
    Victim Lover: It reminded me of one of those jazz hip-hop songs (a really good one), until the muffled vocals came in and slightly threw me off. Luckily, along with the vocals, the combination saxophone and trombone redeem what was initially a somewhat frustrating song... after the first "jazz bits" of course (8/10)
    Note: I'm running out of characters, so these next few will be much shorter.
    Please Take Me With You: A quiet yet ambient song, with the vocals themselves ultimately succumbing to the calming before the storm (which was basically the drums, and not much of a storm... I'm really bad with metaphors.) (9/10)
    Gonna Get Better: I love the piano, love the progressive (interpret that word differently) lyrics, and robotic-sounding vocals. (10/10)
    Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse: It could've singlehandedly been an instrumental with the way that it was coasting along... until the second half takes it away and makes the final song one of the biggest triumphs of the album. (10/10)

    Final Score: 108/120 or 9... well, no debates about whether the number should be rounded then, lol. For an album that is 52 minutes long with only 12 songs, it never feels too long.
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  3. Aug 9, 2017
    9
    This band holds a very special place in my heart. Without me being mesmerized by Anthems of a 17-Year-Old on the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack, IThis band holds a very special place in my heart. Without me being mesmerized by Anthems of a 17-Year-Old on the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack, I would have never checked the band out. They were my first indie band. So I'm more forgiving than most. But still regardless this is a fantastic return to form. The band has a renewed sense of energy and conviction with this album, filled with the band's usual mix of unique and experimental baroque pop and indie rock. However instead of feeling typical like on the lead off single Halfway Home, the record is filled with soaring, arena ready rock tunes like on Protest Song, Vanity Pale Kids, and Skyline, and mellower jams like the title cut (with a fantastic vocal performance from Feist), Towers and Masons, and Please Take Me With You. While some of the songs with cleaner production sounds a bit too sanatized, like on Halfway Home, Kevin Drew and Co. are back with a fiery vengeance, or as fiery as a hipster band can be Expand
  4. Jul 8, 2017
    9
    I love it the way a fisherman loves the sea. The way a rollerblader loves smooth asphalt. The way a confused grad student responds to my lateI love it the way a fisherman loves the sea. The way a rollerblader loves smooth asphalt. The way a confused grad student responds to my late night texts for white-hot and uncompromising love. The first three proper songs (#2, #3 and #4 tracks) are my favorites. I also really like "Towers and Masons."

    Try it out, why not? You'll only be dazzled.
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  5. Aug 15, 2017
    7
    There weren’t any amazing standouts in the songwriting, but it came to be a simple modern rock sound with small growth that permeated theThere weren’t any amazing standouts in the songwriting, but it came to be a simple modern rock sound with small growth that permeated the album and gave off a cool feel with a nice pinch of quirkiness, making it a worthwhile listen. My Score: 131/180 (Solid) = 7.3/10 Expand
  6. Nov 16, 2017
    7
    BSS will remain one of the most cohesive and epic bands of the 21st century, sporting around 20 members. However this effort, by our favouriteBSS will remain one of the most cohesive and epic bands of the 21st century, sporting around 20 members. However this effort, by our favourite boho-rock band is too predictable in sound to really make it an interesting choice in their repertoire. Expand