Wednesday, February 8, 2012

AOTW #1: Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People

It shouldn't be difficult for someone who has listened to You Forgot it in People as much as I have to describe why I love it, but it somehow is.While this album is only nearing a decade of life, it's had a profound effect on my tastes and music as a whole. While I only first heard it 7 or so years ago, it's important to note that I'm 23 and that's nearly a third of my entire life thus far. I feel like it opened the door for me to listen to music that was more exploratory and experimental like I had never before-hand. Still, I find explaining why this is my favorite album of all time to be nearly impossible. I'm not going to argue it's superiority over all other recorded music in this post, but I hope to convince the few of you that haven't listened to it yet to do so. I couldn't even possibly imagine not having this album in my life, so consider it a public service.

I went into this album without the highest of expectations, and despite first hearing it in high-school and not being completely prepared for what I was going to hear, I almost immediately fell in love with it. I didn't understand why every song sounded like a different band and why there were so many production tricks, but I knew that I had stumbled upon something that would change the way I looked at music. Equal parts noisy, beautiful, and weird (to my 16 year old ears anyway) I couldn't believe how varied but also consistent (weird thought) that it all was. It made me look at production in music in a way my developing ear had never done before, I learned that the things that a talented engineer did in post were as important as things like songwriting and guitar solos.

Speaking of that production, the sheer amount of incredible moments that occupy this disc are nothing short of astounding. The horns that transition the atmospheric opener "Capture the Flag" into the huge sound of "KC Accidental", the explosion of noise and feedback in "Stars & Sons", the lap-hands percussion in "Looks Just Like the Sun", the creepy filtered vocals that transition "Pacific Theme" into "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl", the acoustic guitar in the undermix of "Cause=Time", the escalating sound of "Late 90s Bedroom Rock for the Missionaries", the indecipherable vocals of "Shampoo Suicide", the incredible melody of "Lover's Spit"... it just goes on and on.

It's the kind of record that insists on re-inventing itself several times over as you're listening to it. It's not conventional in any true sense of the word. As much as this album hits you with insane bouts of noise and feedback, there's also pop songs like "Lover's Spit" and "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl", the latter of which actually features the best use of banjo I can remember in Indie Rock. You might not love every stylistic change on You Forgot it in People, but it's almost a certainty that there's a song on it that you will love. It's an album I'd truly describe as a ride. And if you're anything like me, it's a ride you'll want to take over and over again.

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