KEVIN DREW - SPIRIT IF...
Nothing about Broken Social Scene conforms to the odd standards that both the music industry and fans try to make all bands adhere to in some form or fashion, so it only makes sense that solo projects from the Canadian collective would be just as elusive in classification.
Although Spirit If...
is billed as a Kevin Drew release, it also comes under the umbrella banner of "Broken Social Scene Presents" and in fact features many of the group's members as guests, which begs the question: If the gang's all here, where's the solo album? In the world of BSS, the question is irrelevant, given Spirit'
s long and cloistered history, recorded as it was over the past two years between BSS tours and recordings by much of the original band, which has since scattered to other projects and situations while BSS is on hiatus. Originally, co-founders Drew and Brendan Canning were each planning to write half of a double solo album, but Drew finished his first (Canning's half is tentatively slated for early next year). Musically, Drew's first "solo" effort holds essentially the same appeal as BSS, which entails elements of baroque Pop and contemporary Art Rock with a decidedly Indie slant (did someone say Brian Emo?). Spirit
has a slightly more visceral, less fussed over edge, perhaps betraying its impromptu basement recording schedule. At any rate, fans of BSS will find the atmosphere here familiar and inviting, while the band's critics will find little here to sway them to the BSS camp. As if they cared about such twaddle -- whatever Broken Social Scene thinks it is, it is. And currently it thinks it's Kevin Drew's solo vision. For now. (BB) Grade: B