Sloan, 'Parallel Play' (Yep Roc)

Parallel Play
Critical Mass
Label: Yep Roc

by Jon Young

After dropping a 30-track extravaganza last year, Sloan return with this more digestible 13-song opus, but their essential blandness remains unchanged. While all four members write, the result is just different shades of competent, predictable power pop, from vaguely bluesy ("Burn for It") to icky sweet ("Cheap Champagne") to slightly psychedelic ("The Other Side"). The energetic "I'm Not a Kid Anymore" highlights Sloan's conservatism: Following a twitchy, thrilling intro lifted from the Spoon manual, they retreat to familiar vocal harmonies that generate all the excitement of a midday nap.



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