Sloan - The Double Cross album review – MVRemix Rock

Sloan – The Double Cross album review

More than anything, The Double Cross, the most recent release from 20-year veteran rockers, Sloan, is a frustrating disappointment.  This is their 10th full-length release, and as you’d expect, it’s full of power-pop tracks straight out of the 60s, 70s and 80s, however the album as a whole – as an artistic venture – is a tragic letdown.  I’ll be the first to tell you I’m thrilled that bands like Sloan still exist if for no other reason than to put out great, classic rock in this relative wasteland of musical filth. Time after time, Sloan have managed to uphold the lost art of releasing albums that work together as a whole to the endless benefit of each individual song, but this record is a sorry excuse for a cohesive result.

Each of the four members that make up the band (Chris Murphy, Jay Ferguson, Patrick Pentland and Andrew Scott) is a talented songwriter, and on past records, this powerful combination of writing styles has provided an enormous advantage by giving their albums a diverse amalgamation of musical influence, but this time, they couldn’t quite get it together.

Strangely, there are more than a few great cuts on this record and the first three tracks stand together marvelously.  Trashy grunge rocker, “Follow The Leader” starts out the album with an artfully crafted transition in to Ferguson’s “The Answer Was You”; an ode to retro pop reminiscent of The Cars.  Directly following, another subtle shift brings us into the third title, “Unkind”, a track strongly evocative of David Byrne circa The Talking Heads.

Tracks like CSNY-inspired “Green Gardens, Cold Montreal”, “Traces”, reminiscent of Bob Dylan and Blue Öyster Cult, and Queen-esque, “It’s Plain to See” are all well-written B-sides just waiting to be discovered.  Sadly, if you were looking to find an album ready to be savored – to be enjoyed wholly – this isn’t the one for you.

It pains me to say, but this is a record better suited for cutting up and placing on mix-tapes than for enjoying as a whole and that, more than anything, is the biggest disappointment of all.

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