The Double Cross

BY Vish KhannaPublished May 10, 2011

The four men in Sloan celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band with an infectious new pop record that fulfils their self-proclaimed "pretty together" tag. Highlighting their respective traits as distinctive songwriters, The Double Cross is one of Sloan's most focused albums, precisely because the band know what they do best as a unit driven by individual tastes. Their roles are established and rarely waver here: Jay Ferguson writes sweetly sung orchestral pop ("The Answer Was You"); Chris Murphy crafts cleverly dynamic, vaguely embittered, self-conscious songs with a knowing wink ("Follow the Leader") and builds bridges for everyone else's tunes; Patrick Pentland maintains a penchant for (in this case, really repetitive) FM rock, radio-ready anthems ("Unkind") that recall Cheap Trick; and Andrew Scott remains the enigmatic art-rock poet ("She's Slowing Down Again") who always sounds like he's onto something we aren't. Knowing themselves so well doesn't make Sloan any less inventive entering their second decade together. Unlike some of their contemporaries, they possess a self-assurance on The Double Cross that most pretty young bands can only dream of.

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