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iTunes Review

Decades of playing together only energized these pop-rockers from Halifax, Nova Scotia, as 2011’s The Double Cross was considered by many to be their best album to date. Figuring out how to differentiate their new album from their others, Sloan made Commonwealth a strictly defined double album with each member taking a side. Jay Ferguson opens with a track that sounds exactly like vintage Sloan. “You’ve Got a Lot on Your Mind,” "Three Sisters,” and the gentle, acoustic “Neither Here nor There” are clear highlights. Lead singer Chris Murphy brings a power-pop punch on “Carried Away,” while “Get Out” and “You Don’t Need Excuses to Be Good” favor electric guitars over the piano featured elsewhere. Lead guitarist Patrick Pentland offers the guitar-led “13 (Under a Bad Sign)” and “Take It Easy,” which sound like versions of the same song. It’s drummer Andrew Scott who pushes things with the 18-minute pastiche “Forty-Eight Portraits,” which sounds like the band walked in on a Pink Floyd session—complete with barking dogs and random piano chords—until a song forms around the three-minute mark. From there, various song ideas pop out of the mix.

Customer Reviews


Was excited to hear last Spring they were putting out this album, and it was worth the wait. No filler- I really enjoy everything. And Forty Eight Portraits blows me away- 17 minute suite with weaving passages that just surprise me at every turn. Well done you guys. Looking forward to the tour.

Still fresh after all these years

Sitting somewhere between very good and great, Sloan's Commonwealth shows that the band continues to write interesting and substantial pop music. This CD runs from pop, to rock, to punk, with a lot of second side of Abbey Road moments thrown in for good measure. People who enjoy intelligent and hooky pop will like any Sloan album, and Commonwealth only adds to that, and more.


Formed: 1991 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Sloan were one of the most successful Canadian bands of the '90s, which was both a blessing and a curse. While they were well known in their homeland, where their Beatlesque power pop became a radio staple, they had a difficult time breaking into the American market, especially after their label, DGC, decided not to market their hooky pop in the wake of grunge. After spending several years fighting the label, and nearly breaking up, Sloan re-emerged in 1996 with One Chord to Another, a record that...
Full Bio