And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

A Music Journal Collective Effort

Saturday, November 01, 2008

(Broken Social Scene Presents) Brendan Canning
Something For All Of Us

It’s hard to look outside the umbrella of the Arts & Crafts
label these days as its spread seems to be rather all-encompassing.
With an army of able-bodied and hyper-creative musicians at
their disposal, it’s hard not to get sucked into the vortex-like
vibe that A&C projects as it draws on so many attractive features
of music; community, male and female artists, varied
instrumentation, artist cross-contribution on different
projects, twenty performer live shows, etc. It’s no wonder
why we can’t seem to find our way out from under the
umbrella – we like the look of things underneath it (and
it’s also just…a massive umbrella).

Brendan Canning released ‘Something For All Of Us’ (the
second solo offering in a series of ‘Broken Social Scene
Presents’ albums) in July. Upon an initial internet album
leak, Brendan left a note on the A & C website detailing
that he was none too pleased with the song-thief. Despite
the leak, the album shows a mitt full of swelling, sonically
layered songs that have needed to get out of Mister
Canning for some time now. As the bus-driving bassist
of BSS, many of the songs have the bass-line right up
front in the mix, pushing the song onward. ‘Hit The
Wall’ is one these bass-driven beauties that makes you
feel like hopping into your station wagon and finding an
expressway at nightfall. With sparse yet hypnotic
guitar-picking parts laced on top of the track, its
‘what-will-happen-next’ feel keeps the listener linked
into the song’s speeding inner-wheel. The ending
overture of ‘Hit The Wall’ seems to present the idea
of someone who has left a lot of people behind as the
refrain repeats:
'You used to have it all and it's all gone'

Though it can be difficult to understand the message
(and sometimes even make out the words behind the
vocal filters) of Brendan’s songs, one thing is certain;
Brendan invests himself into each song and sets a
community-centered scene. Whether it’s the
wintry-mellow acoustic setting of ‘Snowballs And Icicles’
or the melodic vocals of his buddies Kevin Drew
and Feist on ‘Churches Under The Stairs’, the tracks
not only feature Brendan’s talents but the talents of
his friends and his musical community.

Unfortunately for the reader, it seems that I’ve been
enjoying more and more of what I listen to these days.
Now, I know it’s always fun to point a finger, chuckle
and read about an album getting ripped to shreds by
predatory music reviewers - but take heed; a good
review (when done objectively) is a good thing. It might
even mean that there is still hope for good music. As
the title of the album would indicate, Brendan Canning
indeed lets us know that there just might be
‘Something For All Of Us’ within these songs.


Blogger andyjohnson said...

Hey buddy, nice work! Good to see The Hits getting some new life in the last little while. I just blogged for the first time in months myself, and it felt....good.
It's encouraging to hear that Canning's new album is worth a listen. I wondered whether he had the chops to put together something great without the backing of BSS. Great to see you the other week! Peace...

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Canning's the effing man

7:08 AM  

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