Never Hear The End Of It (Yep Roc)

After fifteen years and eight albums without a single shift in personnel, Sloan obviously feels empowered enough to exercise its ambitions. That's evident on Never Hear The End Of It — 30 tracks crammed onto a single disc (which makes the title somewhat of an understatement). Owing to its distinctly '70s sound — a retro approach that's inextricably tied to established pop concepts — End suggests a game of name-that-tune, with each song echoing a vaguely familiar melody from some earlier era. The vibrant, effusive "Flying High Again" sounds suspiciously like something once sung by Sister Sledge; the chugging rhythm of "Who Taught You to Live Like That" mimics Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in The Sky"; the acoustic strum of "Listen to the Radio" bears an uncanny resemblance to ELO; and the lethargic, ballad-turned-perky-pop song "Fading into Obscurity" taps Paul McCartney's early m.o. Whether these similarities are intended as some sort of inside joke is a matter of conjecture. But that's no matter — these comparisons may be obvious, but so is Sloan's savvy.

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