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As good as pop music gets
Mike Stone | 11/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 'Deeper than Beauty' -- an energetic pop masterpiece that suffers nothing from an absence of bass guitar -- the final refrain contains the lines: "We're like the rest of them with our thumbs up our asses/If you call I will come, but I'm about as thick as molasses/When I dream of you you're not wearing your glasses". If this kind of cheeky, smirky, but oh-so-pertinent lyrical style isn't your cup of tea, maybe Sloan is not for you.If Sloan is for you, then you probably like pop songs written from the point of view of East-Indian thirteen-year-olds whose English is kind of clunky ('Penpals'). Or melancholic songs -- with both chugga-chugga and jangly rhythm guitaring -- where the narrator at one point "saw his widow speak on her fortunes", and then later "saw her widow's peak on her forehead" ('Coax Me'; this song also contains the line: "It's not the band I hate, it's their fans"... sometimes I feel like I can quote Sloan lyrics all day long). Or sweet paeans to our innocent days on the school playground ('Snowsuit Sound'). Or an album stacked top to bottom with great pop songs written by four great pop songwriters with very distinctive pop songwriting styles. You probably like adventurous melodies that aren't afraid to be backed up by harmonious "La-la-la's". And punky/jazzy drumming. And bouncy, melodic bass playing.For my money, this is pure Sloan. Which means its about as good as it gets when it comes to alterna-pop music."