With the imminent return of Broken Social Scene, we thought it would be prudent to create a ranking of the best songs by each member of the band. Because nothing celebrates the return of a group like arguing over someone’s opinion about what the best song is.
“Forced To Love”
One of the rockier Broken Social Scene tracks, “Forced To Love” really finds its footing in a live setting. I saw Broken Social Scene for the first time on the Forgiveness Rock Record tour and this was one of those live tunes that I was thinking about for the next few days.
Broken Social Scene’s self-titled record is, for lack of a better term, weird. “Superconnected,” not unlike “Forced To Love,” is really let off the leash in concert, with Justin Peroff’s drums driving the song to its conclusion. It’s very loud and great.
“It’s All Gonna Break”
A song that’s in the running for the title of best Broken Social Scene song, not just best Kevin Drew song, brings the most adventurous Broken Social Scene record to a close. It also runs nearly ten minutes. Also it rules.
“Water In Hell”
The Keith Richards to Kevin Drew’s Mick Jagger (kinda), Brendan Canning’s lone lead vocal on Forgiveness Rock Record is a fun little rock tune with one of the great Broken Social Scene vocal lines: “It’s too bad the monkey’s on your shouuulldahh.”
“Handjobs For The Holidays”
The song that ends the more experimental second act of the self-titled record, “Handjobs” is one of Brendan Canning’s best songs of his entire career, Broken Social Scene or otherwise.
“Stars and Sons”
The first song with a “normal” structure on the legendary You Forgot It In People with one of the best bass lines in Canadian indie rock. Nothing beats those hand claps.
“Art House Director”
Former Apostle of Hustle frontman Andrew Whiteman’s contribution to Forgiveness Rock Record is a fun, bouncy track that scores points with me because it employs a horn section and horn sections typically enhance any song.
“Looks Just Like The Sun”
The most relaxing Broken Social Scene song. Put this one on while lounging on a patio in the summer.
“Fire Eye’d Boy”
One of my personal favourite Broken Social Scene songs has a fantastic guitar line running through it and an even better chorus. And it even has a music video!
“Lover’s Spit Redux”
The most famous of the Broken Social Scene cabal, Leslie Feist’s third-best song is technically a cover of a Broken Social Scene song. So not really a cover, just her singing “Lover’s Spit” instead of Kevin Drew. It takes what was already a great song and just makes it a little bit lovelier.
These next two songs could be debated as to whether or not they are “Feist songs” as Kevin Drew owns half of the vocals on this one but, come on, this is Feist’s song. She dominates, especially on “we’ve got love and hate it’s the only way” and when she belts the song’s climax of “I think it’s almost crime.”
Another song with a debatable lead vocal credit that Feist grabs and runs with, “Shoreline” is probably Broken Social Scene’s best known song (or at least one of them). It is also Canadian law that any new indie band must cover this song at their first practice.
“All To All”
One of my personal favourite tracks on Forgiveness Rock Record, Lisa Lobsinger’s lone lead vocal performance is a great one. A little more danceable than most songs on FRR that really takes off during its final chorus.
“Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl”
Perhaps no other song in the catalogue provides the listener with a quintessential BSS experience than “Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl”: lo-fi aesthetics, musical experimentation, an epic build, and heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics.
Amy Milan and Emily Haines
Another song that doesn’t really have a clear lead vocalist but does, however, have the distinction of being the only Broken Social Scene song to feature Leslie Feist, Emily Haines, and Amy Milan on vocals. At the same time!
“Meet Me In The Basement”
Okay, I’m cheating here. “Meet Me In The Basement” is an instrumental song but, hear me out, it also happens to be my favourite Broken Social Scene song and I couldn’t make a list of Broken Social Scene songs and leave it off. I mean, really, it’s one of the best Canadian songs of all-time. And if you don’t believe me, well, then you’re wrong.