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INDIE ROCK

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August 12, 2008

Brendan Canning

Something for All of Us... (Arts and Crafts)

ESSENTIAL "Churches Under the Stairs"

One half of the creative core of the sprawling, Canadian indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene, Brendan Canning follows in the footsteps of comrade Kevin Drew with the second in the "Broken Social Scene Presents" series. Canning's effort, however, is a bit of a departure, as he assumes the mostly unfamiliar lead-vocalist role. It suits him well. The 13 multifaceted songs on "Something" bleed and blend in a sonic dream state where Canning's fractured vocals move between the angular and breezy, the languid and swooning. "Churches Under the Stairs" and the title track are straight-forward, bass-driven rushes of hazy indie pop perfectly suited to fans of BSS. "Love Is New" is the type of jerky, dance-floor funk begging for a sped-up disco remix. A collaboration with BSS' Lisa Lobsinger on "Antique Bull" and "Been at it So Long" are blissed-out, eclectically orchestrated romances that soften the album's otherwise crackling edges. Still, they prove that there may in fact be something here for all of us. [Luke O'Neil].

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