On their last outing 'You Forgot It In People', Broken Social Scene proved that it was possible to assemble the cream of Canada's indie talent and produce an album of quality and distinction. More than just a hobby band or ego trip for the collective members, the skill was in producing their own sound. The self-titled follow-up is, however, somewhat less coherent. As expected there are ideas a-plenty but this time too many of them where a huge sound cannot cover up a lack of tunes. Only towards the middle of the album do the contributors get it right; the tighter, rhythmic 'Fire Eye'd Boy', 'Superconnected' and 'Windsurfing Nation' comparing well to the previous record. However, 'Hotel' is a misdirected stab at disco soul and the title to the ten-minute overblown finale 'It's All Gonna Break' proves oddly prophetic. It was perhaps inevitable at some stage that the enterprise would come crushing down and many of the artists here (Stars, Feist, The Dears) have achieved far more by sticking to their day jobs.
For once, it's the bonus CD which is the better offering and does a decent job of covering up the cracks of the album. 'Canada Vs. America' adds some punishing drums to the shoegazing vocals. The experimental 'Baroque Social' is one of the most adventurous tracks they've produced and - crucially - is one of the most uncluttered, as is the lovely, dreamy piano piece which concludes the EP.