Hug of Thunder

Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2017 Ratings: #295 / 725
User Score
Based on 189 ratings
2017 Ratings: #159
July 7, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
City Slang, Arts & Crafts / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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The Line of Best Fit

In Hug Of Thunder, Broken Social Scene have managed to master the balance between spiky energy, tender melody and a singular knack for carving out a soaring chorus.


More so than Forgiveness Rock Record, Hug of Thunder presents Broken Social Scene as a rock band making rock songs, a coherent montage rather than a patched-together highlight reel.

A.V. Club

Hug Of Thunder most recaptures the communal triumph of 2002 breakthrough You Forgot It In People, which synthesized those many talented voices into a joyful, eclectic whole, before they began stealing bits of the spotlight for themselves.

The Skinny

Perhaps realising what they nearly threw away, this is simply the sound of a band having the time of their lives. A delight.

After so many years without a Broken Social Scene album, this is a very welcome return.
Under The Radar

It's an impressive return for a band that set the bar high years ago and continue to clear it with ease.


Leslie Feist, Emily Haines, and Kevin Drew may serve as the group's ambassadors, but BSS are a ship requiring the whole crew to stay afloat, and Hug of Thunder is buoyant with inclusiveness and cautious hope.

Perhaps the clue was always in the title because ‘Hug of Thunder’ is exactly that: an intimate embrace by an old friend that often contains electrifying highs, but also jolts you with its emotional and musical intricacy.
The Guardian
With members like Feist and Emily Haines back in the fold for the band’s first album in seven years, every song is big, anthemic and emotionally invigorating, with the jazzy breakbeats in the rhythm section keeping them endearingly dog-eared rather than pompous.

Some of the most exuberant and immediately engaging music they’ve ever recorded.

Northern Transmissions

Hug of Thunder is a very good record that chooses to play it safe. Like so many other albums of its kind, it starts strong, lags a little in the middle, and ends on a high note.


Ultimately Chiccarelli deserves credit for reigning in Broken Social Scene’s disparate elements. If he doesn’t always streamline the sound, he does manage to make it appear more contained and cohesive.

The band leave us safe in the knowledge that they have created something beautiful once again.
Slant Magazine

Hug of Thunder doesn’t promise catharsis or stoke up righteous anger, but instead offers both dark clouds and silver linings through the band’s unique juxtaposition of anxiety and hope.

Loud and Quiet
Hiatus or not, they’re still proudly fragmented and anything but broken.
Drowned in Sound

All-in-all, BSS have made an album that trumps any cynicism that they may have faced, and in the process Hug of Thunder is as hearteningly unguarded and positive a record as you are likely to hear this year. 

No Ripcord
Some of it doesn’t work, a weakness that stems from bringing too many inspired minds together. But it’s also a welcome curse, and the experience they’ve gained has given them the excuse to just ride along with it without worry.
Alternative Press

Mostly, Hug Of Thunder feels like a sign of maturity to complement a more weathered and warm approach to songwriting that includes a lot of electronic pulses and skybound singalongs.


Hug of Thunder feels exquisitely human with all the requisite limitations that come with a more balanced worldview. Broken Social Scene used to feel like everything, now they just feel like a very good band.


It feels great to have them back with us, and their forthcoming live shows promise to be awesome, vital affairs. But it remains to be seen how many moments from Hug Of Thunder will make their way onto people’s Ultimate Broken Social Scene playlists in coming years.

Rolling Stone
The standout is "Halfway Home," on which Bruce Springsteen and My Bloody Valentine meet up in the space between anxiety and uplift where this band does its best work.

‘Hug Of Thunder’ is a welcome return by Broken Social Scene. Dignified, grand and full of life.

The Needle Drop

7 years after the underwhelming Forgiveness Rock, Toronto indie rock collective Broken Social Scene is back with a pretty exhilarating and harmonious return to form.

Consequence of Sound

The result is a large, communal atmosphere, as if they’re all in the same room jamming together. Like an old group of friends reuniting for drinks and catching up, it’s familiar and free of grand expectations.

The Independent
They haven’t lost the righteous anger that drove earlier releases – tracks like the ebullient “Halfway Home” and Arcade Fire-soundalike “Protest Song” still charge proudly, the sprawling retinue’s strings and horns driving them along – but here, hope has become tainted by experience.
The 405
Honestly, I probably won’t return to half the songs on this album, but I will come back for a few songs now and then.
There weren’t any amazing standouts in the songwriting, but it came to be a simple modern rock sound with small growth that permeated the album and gave off a cool feel with a nice pinch of quirkiness, making it a worthwhile listen. My Score: 131/180 (Solid) = 73/100
the turn up music of the Indie Rock community, a great soundtrack while you think about the man you aspire to be while doing nothing to achieve that goal
It's a nice return to form from a group that never fails to impress, proving that after nearly a decade-long hiatus that they can still release compilations that will go down as essential indie records.
First listening :

I find the album really enjoyable, sometimes a bit too much heterogeneous.

I'm not really enthusiastic after 7th track "Hug of Thunder", I think some of these tracks could be more developped.
Once again an album that took me a hot minute to get into, Broken Social Scene return for their first album in seven years. With no signs of rust, the band make it clear that they wouldn’t have returned for a new album without a message to be told and the ability to tell it well.
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Track List

  1. Sol Luna
  2. Halfway Home
  3. Protest Song
  4. Skyline
  5. Stay Happy Stay Happy Stay Happy Stay Happy
  6. Vanity Pail Kids
  7. Hug of Thunder
  8. Towers and Masons
  9. Victim Lover
  10. Please Take Me With You
  11. Gonna Get Better
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Added on: May 8, 2017