Something for All of Us..
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This 2008 album is Brendan Canning's first solo effort and the second release in the Broken Social Scene Presents series. Brendan Canning is a prolific songwriter of Irish descent and the founding member of the Indie Rock collective of such notable bands as By Divine Right, Valley Of The Giants and hHead.
Top Customer Reviews
What I was afraid of the most when I first listened to Brendan Canning's first solo outing was that it would be all too familiar yet incomplete and I am glad to say I had no reason to fear.
Brendan's album has the distinct sound and ingenuity of the supergroup yet feels and sounds original and personal. Something For All Of US stays carefully away from the post-rockish and chaotic music we're accustomed to and brings along a mixed bag of emotions. 'Churches Under the Stairs' is definitely catchy and fun while some like 'Possible Grenade' are tainted with anguish and nostalgia.
It is artfully written, skillfully played, sung and produced with passion. Brendan's album really does offer something for all of us.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Brendan Canning's 'Something For All of Us' is definately in the same vein as Kevin Drew's 'Spirit If' and previous BSS efforts in both melody and mood, but what sets this apart from 'Spirit If' is that while 'Spirit If' had more of a focus on a lighter, drifty, accoutic sound throughout the album, Canning's record spends more time on crunching guitar-based songs. Which is not a fault at all, just a difference you might notice from Drew's effort.
Thats not to say that there isnt a softer side to the album, tracks like 'Chameleon' and 'Take Care, Look Up' have a wonderful softer ambient vibe to them and do well to break up the album, as does the funky 'Love Is New' which reminds me of the great BSS track 'Hotel'
The only weak part of the album is track 'Antique Bull' which is a soft, almost Nora Jones-like puff song which seems out of place on the album.
Other than that, if you liked 'Spirit If', or any other releases by BSS, you will definitely find something to like here. Its an album that reveals its depth over multiple listens and is definitely one of the stronger BSS releases. Between this and 'Spirit If' I would have to give the edge to 'Spirit If' because I think that album's melodies are a bit more clever and lyrics a bit more biting than what you would find here.
On the title track, Canning introduces the smokey shoegaze sound that prevails over much of the record. The album slows down on the second track, Chameleon, where Canning displays his demonstrated love of horns, luscious chants, and slow-burners. Possible Grenade seems to wink at Kevin Drew's love of Dinosaur Jr and catchy rock hooks, and closer Take Care, Look Up is a spacey gauze of sound akin to Galaxie 500. The album runs the gammut between heavy rocking tracks and gentle pop ballads, and though the tracklisting can be at times erratic, Something For All of Us manages to be a constantly engaging and thoroughly enjoyable pop record, and a welcome addition to Broken Social Scene's excellent discography.
When Canning and Drew started Broken Social Scene in 1999, it seemed like a great idea; some of the greatest musicians from Canada getting together and forming a huge supergroup. And it wasn't until 2001 that their first album, Feel Good Lost, appeared. It was frustrating, a collection of nearly all instrumentals from a group that was certainly more capable than that. Eventually the band let loose, and on their second two releases ran wild, especially on the self-titled third album.
Now, Brendan Canning is a talented musician, and his debut is a bit of a head-scratcher. It's all very easy to listen to, and there are moments where a few concurrent songs form together and form an atmosphere. And that's when it's working the way he wants it, but when Something For All of Us... isn't on, well, it's just bleak. The start isn't bad, but it isn't captivating. There's enough energy in the title track, but it all disappears for the dreamy "Chameleon," which, while being a decent tune, isn't the musical landscape Canning believes it is. And it's like this the whole way through; depending on the listener, there are tracks that work and tracks that don't, and it will differ for every set of ears. What Something For All of Us... proves, though, is that Canning can be a decent songwriter without Drew or the rest of the band. And while it isn't stunning in any sense, he joins the list of artists from Broken Social Scene to put out entertaining solo material.