Doing an album review in retrospect is always fun, because I, as an informed and intelligent consumer and evaluator of music, get to see what everyone else in the music world said about it before me, and then I get to find something completely different and unique to say. (Just kidding, it’s not fun.)
Poor Born Ruffians. Pitchfork gave them a 3.8 (OUCH), and nobody else really had anything better to say. I don’t have anything better to say. This album wasn't rubbish, but it was close. I listened to Say It in its entirety, waiting for one, just one gem (or two, or three) reminiscent of the previous albums that earned the Canadian indie pop darlings such acclaim over the past few years to jump out at me. Nothing happened. Lyrically, the album’s songwriting was completely passé, slack, and devoid of meaning, musically every arrangement seemed lazy and tired, and as a whole the album was rather like the world’s itchiest, most ill-fitting sweater.
Essentially, Say It is Born Ruffians’ sophomore slump. The one stand-out track, “Ballad of Moose Bruce, The,” is still very, very boring when compared with every single other track on 2008’s Red, Yellow, and Blue or 2006’s self-titled album, though it is the one song on the latest album that sounds enough like its predecessors to be enjoyable.
It’s not over, Born Ruffians. We’ll hang in there for you. Just, do better next time. Come on, you covered Grizzly Bear and didn’t mess it up. You should be able to do anything. Including making a knock-out third album. We're waiting.
-- Fiona Hanly