There are some, or even many, that could care less about the back story of an artist or band, how a piece of music came to be, or maybe even the lyrical content, focusing only on the sound and musical facets. There are also people who avoid topics involving world issues and the environment, concerned mainly with their party plans for the weekend.
For those individuals, there are many opportunities to crank the tuneage on Kevin Drew‘s Spirit If, including “Lucky Ones,” which soars with a magnetic voracity, presenting a chorus guitar/piano hook combo that is check marked for the repeat button. “Safety Bricks” saunters with a Lemonheads bounce; “Frightening Lives” moves with hustle and flow pacing, jaunting to and fro with ease and streamlined style; “Backed Out On The…” would fit in perfectly with a retro mix of Rolling Stones, Kinks and New York Dolls, causing one to purchase their own tambourine so they can close their eyes and pretend their rockin’ it on stage with hundreds of adoring fans.
For the rest of us, you may want to know that Feist came in for back up vocals and the chorus choir on “Lucking Ones,” causing it to sound larger than life. You may also wonder as many have, if this is a Broken Social Scene release or a solo project from frontman, Kevin Drew. The label and publicist expected this confusion and addressed it right from the start in their press materials. Basically, the answer is “yes” and “no.” BSS members, which rival in numbers to the growing clan involved in Arcade Fire, play a part in Sprit If…, as does Drew’s other talented friends (i.e. Feist), which gathered in the basement recording studio of Ohad Benchetrit over the course of two years.
By removing the BSS moniker (sort of), Drew allowed himself some freedoms here not only in the recording of the album, which was void of scheduling conflicts and release deadlines, but also in the songwriting process and results. Although the CD liner notes are void of lyrics, Drew does make his thoughts and thanks known, “To all the homes that took me in when I was rearranging my feet…all the drama big and small…the stained carpets, the porn…the cough that kept me awake for two years…”
On “Broke Me Up,” you can hear that pesky cough towards the end of the song, which they must have decided to leave in, maybe as an inside joke. The “collective” spirit comes through loud and clear on the last, non-coincidental track “When It Begins,” which plays out like a fireside sing-along. “It’s gonna be really heard when it gets to the end / Don’t forget what you found,” you hear, along with Drew feeding lyrics to his musical buddies. The popping of beer cans at the end of the song is the only thing that’s missing.
If you need to get pumped up for the weekend, check out the video for “Backed Out On The…” By the end, you’ll be ready to get out of the office early, run by the liquor store, and start a house party.
Taken from Kevin Drew’s myspace, “This song was recorded with Joules Scott Key of Metric and Bang Lime on drums and J Mascis and Kevin Drew on guitar and vocals. The video happened last minute after a Dinosaur Jr. show in Toronto where J, Lou and Murph all came to the shoot to hang out. John Caffery from KIDS ON TV was hired to come and dance his ASS off and a spontaneous party was put into effect.
There were seven mirrors, one disco ball, four lights, one bottle of rum, three bottles of tequila, 62 beers, four crew and 17 people.
It got put together on the day of the shoot and became the party of the year. It cost three thousand dollars to make…
It was priceless.”