Sunday, December 30, 2007

The 20 Best Albums of 2007 - Kevin Drew: "Spirit If..."

9.  Broken Social Scene is quickly turning into the white indie rock version of the Wu Tang Clan. Think about it, each group is massive in size, each has siphoned off an ungodly amount of solo/side project material (Ghostface, Metric, Raekwon, Method Man, Feist, Do Make Say Think, Apostle of Hustle, etc., etc., etc.), and each "solo" project usually includes appearances from members of their respective collectives.

Spirit If... represents the first in a series of "Broken Social Scene Presents:" albums showcasing the solo talents of a different member of BSS. Of course, I use the term "solo" loosely as basically everyone from BSS makes at least one appearance on the record. This isn't a bad thing since I am always of the opinion the more the merrier when it come to BSS.

That isn't to say that Sprit If... is merely a BSS record repackaged as a solo effort. On the contrary, Kevin Drew's skills as a singer and songwriter are definitely the focal point here. Moments like "Safety Bricks", "Broke Me Up" and "Gang Bang Suicide" are some of the highlights of the album, giving us a glimpse of what Drew sounds like when he strips down the music to its most basic forms. Of course, the frenetic multi-layered anthems "Lucky Ones" and "Backed Out on the..." are pretty freaking great in their own right.

Perhaps I should rethink applying the "solo" label so loosely to this album since its brilliance lies in how it showcases Drew in two distinct roles. That of the perfect frontman to one of rock music's most dynamic bands and also as a gifted songwriter who is equally at home sans the bells and whistles of his bandmates.

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