Something For All of Us... (2008, Arts & Crafts) Brendan Canning's first studio album. ***
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.