Rearviewmirror – Remembering the 90s – Sloan – One Chord to Another

90s score: 8/10

2016 score: 7/10

It’s hard not to love “The Good in Everyone.” It’s a definitive, two-minute banger. However, it does not by a long shot showcase everything that Canadian darlings Sloan were capable of when they released the Juno award winning One Chord to Another, which turns twenty years old this year.

Most of the alt-rock in the 90s was stuck somewhere between Nirvana and The Beatles, and Sloan were no exception. But they managed those two ingredients perfectly, adding a pulsing flavor all their own that was driven by the simple, smooth bass playing of frontman Chris Murphy. Tracks like “Autobiography” and “Junior Panthers” in particular revisit the fab four’s dreamier moments, and both tracks stand the test of time quite well.

Conversely, the attempt at tongue in cheek on “G turns to D” where Murphy sings, “She’s aware it’s all been done before. It’s another song in this key, yeah, but this one’s about me” just feels bitterly ironic now, due to the sheer legion of bands that were still to come who ended up playing this exact style of rock. “Take the Bench” is another one that just doesn’t stack up today.

This album was also a significantly cheaper endeavor than its predecessor, 1994’s Twice Removed. Recording technology has advanced exponentially since this record was produced. It doesn’t sound terrible, but the knowledge that a 10 000$ recording budget today will get you a record that sounds much cleaner than this makes the listening experience a little underwhelming at times.

For the most part, though, the album is still worth a first-time listen, and works as a testament to the best of what 90s rock had to offer, if nothing else. Sloan have endured to this day, core members and all, and continue to be a Canadian favourite, akin to the likes of The Tragically Hip and Our Lady Peace.

Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Kate Erickson

About Syd Ghan 185 Articles
Syd Ghan is a Montreal media man, born and bred. After spending his formative years playing music on stages big and small across the city, he transitioned seamlessly into a career as a full-time writer, editor, and content manager. He has reviewed numerous bands both in concert and on record, written for a number of different blogs and online publications, been both a host and featured guest on various local podcasts and radio shows, and has even logged time judging live music competitions. In his spare time, he enjoys engaging in spirited debates over the finer points of pop-rock radio and he’s never met a chicken wing he didn’t like.

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