Good album, that.
Oh, you want expansion, do you? Well, the Springsteen comparisons that everyone's made do stand up but not overly so, by which we mean its particular bombast is of a very Canadian Scene bent, that is to say less to do with the open roads and escape and more anchored in internal monologue, paranoia for what will become of us all and possibilities of redemption only through everyone changing rather than just yourself. It does mean some shirking on the lyrical front, the sensorial imagery replaced by somewhat portentious outward posturing, but then the vocal mix turns down the wide-eyed determination of Funeral anyway. It's musically illustrated as early as a minute and a half or so into Black Mirror, when Win really goes for an arms outstretched yell and the strings and percussion briefly crashes on and upwards as Born In The USA-era Bruce would... and then it goes straight back into its determined progression towards the heart of the black hole. It's grand, yes, but in the Neighbourhood suite Funeral had its own grandiosity, more scratchy and less hi-fi than here but still aiming for the stars. The production nuances and compressed nature of the intra-band playing (not compressed as in sound, compressed as in it sounds at many a point like it really was recorded in a circle in a converted church) makes sure that while it's for the working man, it's simultaneously not the sort of thing that is intended to launch him into fist pumping. It's no Funeral, but most things in the history of recorded popular music aren't - it's a very strong album, one that improves with listens as it gives up its intricacies, that's aware of the cliches and does something about them.
That said, what it really needs is more songs like this: