Sides Win: Singles 1992-2005 [Bonus DVD]

Sides Win: Singles 1992-2005 [Bonus DVD]

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by Sloan
     
 

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Big stars in their native Canada, where they regularly sell out arenas, Sloan have never quite managed to get above cult band status in the States. Why? With all four members sharing writing and vocal duties, and a sound that seems to change with every record -- often in unfashionable ways -- it's impossible to sum them up in a sentence. It's equally hard to condense… See more details below

Overview

Big stars in their native Canada, where they regularly sell out arenas, Sloan have never quite managed to get above cult band status in the States. Why? With all four members sharing writing and vocal duties, and a sound that seems to change with every record -- often in unfashionable ways -- it's impossible to sum them up in a sentence. It's equally hard to condense Sloan's career into one album, but this singles collection does an admirable job. Presented in chronological order, A Sides Win charts their career from smart-aleck college kids with an ear for melody and a love of My Bloody Valentine through dalliances with nearly every genre known to rock. The collection opens with 1992's "Underwhelmed," the finest -- perhaps only -- song ever about both romantic angst and correct grammar. Sloan's sense of humor isn't just evident in the lyrics, though. While there's no doubt they have genuine affection for Thin Lizzy and KISS, one has to imagine that the boogie-rocking "She Says What She Means" and the fist-pumping "Motor City Maniacs" (both from 1998's Navy Blues) sound the way they do at least in part because Sloan thought it was funny. The joke never comes at the expense of the tune, however, and A Sides Win is first and foremost a showcase for their songcraft, be it jangly '60s pop ("Everything You've Done Wrong"), '70s California cool (the Fleetwood Mac-ish "The Other Man"), or the anthemic, pro-Canadian "The Rest of My Life." As is now required with these best-of compilations, the disc features two new songs that find the foursome in fine -- though maybe not single-worthy -- form well into their second decade.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Like any good power pop act, Sloan's career follows a specific arc: tentative, appealingly messy debut that's tied perhaps a little too closely to the sound of the time; a breakthrough second album that captures them finding their voice as musicians and songwriters; a third album that's generally acknowledged as the masterpiece since it finds the group stretching and getting a little more sophisticated; a fourth album that's a little harder-rocking because the group is trying to disguise the fact that it's settling into a comfortable, albeit appealing, role as craftsmen; a fifth album that finds them to succumbing to that very fate; and from that point on, they make variations on the same ingratiating blueprint from that point forward. Each album after the third record is good, and certainly the devoted will find merit in each subsequent record, but less dedicated listeners will find the records after that masterpiece to be a little samey, and rightfully so: there are subtle differences between the records, but those differences are indeed so subtle that only the dedicated can explain what separates, say, Pretty Together from Action Pact. But that's why hits compilations from power pop bands are always quite good: they capture the highlights from those samey records to make a tight, dynamic record that's among the group's best. That's certainly the case with Sloan's A Sides Win, which gathers the band's 15 singles, adding the new "Try to Make It" for good measure. While this doesn't contain all of Sloan's great songs -- the opening pair of "Penpals" and "I Hate My Generation" from 1994's Twice Removed aren't here, for instance -- it does contain all the major points, and when they're gathered together, they prove that Sloan has been a band that delivers consistently tuneful, tasteful, smart guitar pop. Of course, that's been a bit of their undoing on proper records -- there's little to differentiate anything after One Chord to Another -- but in terms of a hits collection, it works wonders, making for a cohesive, entertaining listen that proves Sloan is one of the finest power pop acts of its time. [Koch released a deluxe version of A Sides Win that adds a bonus DVD featuring all of the group's music videos, as well as TV commercials and a good, albeit a little talky, documentary tracing the band's history.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/10/2005
Label:
Koch Records
UPC:
0099923990529
catalogNumber:
9905
Rank:
261092

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Underwhelmed
  2. 500 Up
  3. Coax Me
  4. People of the Sky
  5. The Good in Everyone
  6. Everything You've Done Wrong
  7. The Lines You Amend
  8. Money City Maniacs
  9. She Says What She Means
  10. Losing California
  11. Friendship
  12. If It Feels Good Do It
  13. The Other Man
  14. The Rest of My Life
  15. All Used Up
  16. Try to Make It

Disc 2

  1. Underwhelmed
  2. 500 Up
  3. Coax Me
  4. People of the Sky
  5. The Good in Everyone
  6. Everything You've Done Wrong
  7. The Lines You Amend
  8. Money City Maniacs
  9. She Says What She Means
  10. Losing California
  11. Friendship
  12. If It Feels Good Do It
  13. The Other Man
  14. The Rest of My Life
  15. All Used Up
  16. Try to Make It
  17. Bonus Materials

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