You Forgot It In People: The Perfect Pop Album
Written by Emily O'Brien on March 14, 2023
An album can be good—sonically and lyrically good—but it becomes something great when it’s both good and it feels like it was made for you. Not just you, the current you. The starting-college, away-from-your-family-for-the-first-time, making-grown-up-decisions-and-grown-up-mistakes you. For me at least, I’ve found that album in Broken Social Scene’s 2003 sophomore record, You Forgot It In People.
Broken Social Scene isn’t so much a band as it is a collective. Throughout their career, their lineup has been constantly changing, taking in and turning out artists from the experimental Toronto music scene. Artists like Metric (notable from their song “Black Sheep,” featured in the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack), Do Make Say Think, Stars, Silver Mt Zion, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and more have worked with the group.
Despite the large number of members from seemingly disparate musical groups, You Forgot It In People comes together as a cohesive whole. The songs manage to each be different enough to keep you excited and yet they hold onto some undeniable uniting themes. The album can be broadly described as indie, but it delves into so many more genres that that label almost feels too narrow. Broken Social Scene’s first album Feel Good Lost was mostly instrumental and ambient. Dramatically departing from that, the goal of this album was to make pop music, which is achieved brilliantly. The album also expertly interweaves art rock and experimental sounds into the mix. You Forgot It In People shows what Broken Social Scene is really capable of.
The first song I heard off this album was “Cause = Time,” which totally blew me away. It starts with a catchy but simple kick-snare beat, but as it goes on the energy heightens and the melody shifts in a way that’s just thrilling, like racing down a highway, windows open, barreling toward something new. The song was by far enough to get me interested in the rest of the album.
Another stand-out is the incandescent slow-dance that is “Lover’s Spit.” The song is cinematic; you’re not just listening, you’re watching it play out. It’s the end of the night, your head is on someone’s shoulder, and you just can’t figure out why nothing feels like enough. As a matter of fact, the song is notable and moody enough that it’s referenced in Ribs by Lorde! If that’s not a stamp of approval, I don’t know what is.
You Forgot It In People feels like growing up and figuring things out. It feels like exploring a new city and making the connections you feel will last the rest of your life. You and your old friends are drifting away but the people you’ve met the last few months seem immortal. You’re starting the rest of your life, and it’s terrifying but exciting. This is a deeply layered and complex album that you’ll find yourself listening to again and again and again.