It seemed appropriate to drop this blurb on Canada Day. Superb CanCon!
This is probably the longest I’ve ever gone without yelling WAHOO! about a new Sloan record. This one dropped back in early April, and I was a first-day buyer. So why didn’t I review it then? Well, I had so much from multiple Toronto trips to cover, for starters…
But I have been listening to the record all this time, in and around all my other listening because Sloan. The title of this album is 12 because this is their 12th album. Original, sure, and basically notice that if you don’t know Sloan’s sound by now this album may be a revelation to you. If you know their sound already, guess what! It’s Sloan! YAY!
These are all strong songs, in that inimitable and cohesive Sloan sound and style. Big jangly guitars, awesome vocal harmonies, whip-smart and clever wordplay lyrics… For me, at this point having been a fan since seeing them in concert on the Twice Removed tour in the fall of 1993, and a first-day buyer ever since, every new Sloan album (this one included) feels just like coming home. The world is aligned correctly on its axis when I hear new Sloan songs. I love that they are still out there, doing their thing, and that they have remained true to their sound and ideals and only ever release quality.
I’ve been through this one countless times and I can’t find any fault with it. In fact, there are so many moments to love that I would be surprised if they didn’t end up with about half of the album as singles. A radio DJ could just hit Play on this thing and walk away for 40 minutes and their switchboard would light up with calls from folks wanting more info on all those great tunes!
It rocks, it’s beautiful, it seems simple but only because the intricacies are so adroitly handled that all we can do is appreciate the genius that is Sloan.
Bonus Sloan Geek Information Section:
As we all know by now: Not only does everyone in the band play all the instruments and sing (this is so cool), at varying points, but Sloan has also perfected the art of band democracy when it comes to songwriting. Each of the four main members get three songs they’ve wrote on the album, therefore a 12 song album. 12 songs on their 12th album. Brilliant. I’m at the point now where I can pretty much correclty identify who wrote what, just based on sound and approach, but for those who like this sort of information, here’s how this one balances out (with track numbers):
Chris Murphy wrote Spin Our Wheels (1), Don’t Stop (If It Feels Good Do It) (7), and Wish Upon A Satellite (11).
Patrick Pentland wrote All Of The Voices (2), The Day Will Be Mine (5), and Have Faith (9).
Jay Ferguson wrote Right To Roam (3), Essential Services (6), and The Lion’s Share (10).
Andrew Scott wrote Gone For Good (4), Year Zero (8), and 44 Teenagers (12).