by Carey Murphy and Michael Bowen & r & Broken Social Scene & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941.465478241 & amp;type=10 & amp;subid= & quot; & Broken Social Scene & lt;/a & **** & r & Generally speaking, I'm absolutely suspicious of any eponymous album title if the album in question is not a debut. Historically speaking (and I know tons about history), every self-titled album that is released well into the career of an established band indicates an aesthetic shift into the realm of suckiness. The most egregious examples: Metallica's Metallica and 311's 311. So how is it that Broken Social Scene has managed a delightfully competent album? Is it possible that my theory is flawed? Is it possible that I don't know what I'm talking about? The answers, in order, are: They have limitless talent, no and no.
The sound is polished and polite, full of that huggable indie-rock glee. But there remains plenty of fuzz and haze to derail any attempts at easy deciphering. "Handjobs for the Holidays" makes me want to embrace the first grubby sweater-wearer I see, just not in that way. "It's All Gonna Break" takes the cake: self-indulgent grandstanding that roughs up all the earlier veneer. For nine-plus minutes. It's ferocious. -- Carey Murphy
Arvo Part A Tribute Hilliard Ensemble **** & r & Arvo Part equals Steve Reich plus Christian faith and incense smoke. Imagine the sacred choral music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance -- votive lights, the soaring vaults of a cathedral, the fervency of prayers sent heavenward -- stripped down to a "holy minimalism." After secluding himself like a hermit during the early '70s, Part reemerged with a new style he called "tintinnabulation": a tinkling of little bells that modernized choral chant in one stroke.
Paul Hillier -- the man who wrote the book on Part, literally -- leads the Hilliard Ensemble and Theater of Voices in a celebration of the Estonian composer's 70th birthday. In the Credo of the Berlin Mass, two sopranos entwine in a double helix, swirling and ascending to glorify the Lord. The Agnus Dei is suffused with melancholy: Have mercy on us, Part's four-part harmony and droning organ seem to say, because we desperately need it.
A Tribute is a good introduction to a contemporary composer remarkable for being widely known even before he's dead. Though in Part's case, he'll live on. - Michael Bowen
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.