Kevin Drew, Spirit If . . . (Shiny/Rhythmethod)

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Kevin Drew: Safety Bricks
Kevin Drew, Spirit If . . . (Shiny/Rhythmethod)

It must be galling for certain Flying Nun bands (notably the Verlaines and Sneaky Feelings in this instance) to hear some of what they did appropriated by British or North American bands and, through clout and better press coverage, take it to the wider world.

There are elements of classic Nun (and Beatles, Pavement etc) scattered throughout this alleged solo album by Drew who founded the Canadian collective Broken Social Scene.

I say "alleged" because he gets some hefty help from the likes of Dinosaur Jr's J. Mascis, Spiral Stairs from Pavement, chanteuse Feist and too many others to name. Twenty three in all I am told.

And while Drew walks in the shadows of many of his influences the sheer diversity, attention to melodic and sonic detail, and strength of the songs on this expansive outing make for an album which rewards numerous repeat plays -- even if you might keep cranking up Backed Out which features Mascis on vocals and guitar and which sounds like something off one of his solo albums.

But it is a case of strength through diversity, and those who enjoyed any of those bands mentioned above (as well as the latter-day Flaming Lips) will find plenty here to immerse themselves in.

A keeper.

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