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Classic Album Review: Soft Canyon | Broken Spirit, I Will Mend Your Wings

Tricky Woo's Andrew Dickson moves forward as he looks back on this nostalgic set.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Sometimes you’ve gotta take one step back to move forward. At least, that seems to be the challenging path former Tricky Woo mastermind Andrew Dickson is following with his new band Soft Canyon.

Broken Spirit, I Will Mend Your Wings, the debut album from the Montreal quintet, serves as both the next logical step in Dickson’s musical evolution and a nostalgic journey even further into his retro-rock universe. To wit, these cuts bypass the ’70s Detroit-rawk posturing and stoner jams that defined the Woo’s work for the sweeter organic fields of ’60s California rock. Instead of The Stooges and MC5, these 11 tracks are more likely to put you in mind of the more freewheeling, acidic moments of Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield, Love and The Byrds. Granted, most of these woozy ballads and groovy rockers don’t kick out the jams like Woo used to, but it’s always a treat to find out what new tricks Dickson has up his sleeves.