On September 9, 2014, Sloan, will release their 11th studio album Commonwealth via Yep Roc Records. The 15 song collection sees Sloan’s members all contributing original compositions to each record, equal partners with equal say over every aspect of their work. Where in the past creative lines have been blurred to create the multi-faceted Sloan sound, Commonwealth sees the four bandmates disassociating ever so slightly to create an old-school double album sequenced with each member staking out a single side as their own artistic dominion.
Designated by the four playing card suits, the essentially solo sides allow for all four members’ work to at last be heard through the prism of individual identity. Ferguson’s opening Diamond side showcases his remarkable knack for symphonic pop, Pentland’s Shamrock offers a substantial helping of pedal-hoppin’ psych rock, and Murphy’s Heart is fit to burst with wit, jangle, and eclectic energy. As if the four-sided concept weren’t challenge enough, Commonwealth finishes with “Forty Eight Portraits,” an ingenious 18-minute pop suite that fills the entirety of Scott’s closing Spade side.
Ultimately, what makes Commonwealth so special – and so distinctly Sloan – is how the fragmented approach in fact only serves to underscore the veteran band’s extraordinary strengths, showcasing the particular ingredients without ever losing sight of the sum of their parts.
Diamond Side (Jay):
1) We’ve Come This Far
2) You’ve Got A Lot On Your Mind
3) Three Sisters
5) Neither Here Nor There
Heart Side (Chris):
6) Carried Away
7) So Far So Good
8) Get Out
9) Misty’s Beside Herself
10) You Don’t Need Excuses To Be Good
Shamrock Side (Patrick):
11) 13 (Under A Bad Sign)
12) Take It Easy
13) What’s Inside
14) Keep Swinging (Downtown)
Spade Side (Andrew):
15) Forty-Eight Portraits
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