SLOAN – Commonwealth

Album: Commonwealth

Artist: Sloan

Label: Yep Roc

Release Date: September 09, 2014

Sloan 9-9

http://www.yeproc.com/

BY LEE ZIMMERMAN

Like many of their countrymen, Sloan has yet to reap the unabashed admiration here in the States that they’ve earned up north in their native Canada. That’s a shame, because based on their dozen albums up until now, this quartet is clearly deserving of that wider recognition. With the arrival of Commonwealth, the band goes all out to ensure that possibility will finally come to fruition.

Each of the band’s four players were given the opportunity to write a stand-alone block of songs (divvied up as a “Diamond Shine,” a “Shamrock Side,” a “Heart Side” and a “Spade Side”) and then allowed to steer their contributions accordingly. The result is a sumptuous set of songs that ranks among the group’s best yet. Yet, despite the disparate sources, Commonwealth finds a common core, a flourish of flailing riffs, vibrant melodies and cooing harmonies that testify to the group’s power pop precepts.

The songs segue as if in sync, but the individual entries also stand out on their own. “Cleopatra,” “Keep Singing (Downtown),” and “Carried Away” boast some of the album’s most incisive hooks, but in terms of pure ambition, it’s the ending song/suite “Forty-Eight Portraits,” that provides the disc with its most indelible impression.

DOWNLOAD: “Cleopatra,” “Keep Singing (Downtown),” “Carried Away”

 

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