'Parallel Play': Summer Pop From Canadian Mainstays

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Fresh Air's rock critic reviews Parallel Play, the new album from Sloan. The Canadian favorites are hoping to attract an American following with this release.

Sloan: Summer Pop Made Simple

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Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "Believe In Me"
  • Artist: Sloan
  • CD: Parallel Play
  • Genre: Power-Pop
Sloan 300

In "Believe In Me," Sloan scorns the modern trend of experimentation, upholding its power-pop roots with stubborn abandon. courtesy of Sloan hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of Sloan

The way the Canadian band Sloan does its job, you'd think there was nothing better in the world than being a rock star. Besides obviously loving every second of its music-making, Sloan scorns the modern trend of experimentation, upholding its power-pop roots with stubborn abandon. Now on their 11th album, the band members — so relaxed onstage that they often forgo a strict set list for spontaneous fan requests — keep nailing their effortless riffs, seamless transitions, and smart lyrics.

Sloan's new album, Parallel Play, is a solid notch in its career belt and adds to the best in its canon. "Believe In Me" is a perfect summer tune, best heard on car speakers at 70 mph. Even if the heart-pumping bass and awesome guitar solo didn't sell it, the words are perfectly suitable for shouting along: "If you believe that everybody needs to shake it loose / That everyone will rock and everybody will roll, yeah." Coming from Sloan, the message sounds downright profound.

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