• Record Label: Yep Roc
  • Release Date: Jun 10, 2008
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. The [power pop] aesthetic remains intact on their ninth album, but it also proves the foursome--who alternate songwriting and vocal duties-- have honed their skills to a finely calibrated science. [20 June 2008, p.66]
  2. Sloan have solved their problem by giving each member room to roam, and they're winding up with records that are rich emotionally and musically, illustrating that it is possible for a classicist guitar pop band like Sloan to grow with each passing year.
  3. Parallel Play finds the quartet in fine form.
  4. The album is all over the place, with traces of Queen pop excesses flowing seamlessly with crunching, almost hardcore-punk-tinged guitar rockers and some weird stuff, too. Yet each of the tracks keeps Sloan’s Big Star-sounding power-pop roots intact.
  5. 80
    The 13-track Parallel Play is a decidedly less ambitious effort, but it’s no less brilliant in its execution.
  6. Even those accustomed to Sloan's effortlessness will find the first half of Parallel Play almost flawless. There's still little in the way of artifice or innovation, but it's still easy to admire the architecture.
  7. It's a dazzling display of record-collection rock by the band's four-headed songwriting team, even if some tunes in the album's second half get lost in sticky sweet rush.
  8. Parallel Play ends up being a fan’s record: one whose economy and intelligence will delight the Sloan faithful but probably won’t change the band’s fortunes or alter its trajectory with a generation raised on American Idol.
  9. It’s great to watch the venerable Canadian band continue its post-slump renaissance, and even more fitting that it makes the rebound look easy.
  10. Not as sprawling a set of riches as "Never Hear the End of It," this new album is more in the pop juggernaut category, where each song pulls the listener along in head-bobbing succession--but there’s no less dynamism for that.
  11. The result isn’t quite on a par with their best work, but it’s nothing to scoff at either.
  12. 60
    The follow-up--featuring a mere 13 songs--is solid and functional, but lacks that inspired edge. [Aug 2008, p.106]
  13. 50
    Sloan returns with this more digestible 13-song opus, but their essential blandness remains unchanged. [July 2008, p.104]
  14. There are a few diamonds here, but there’s also a lot of stray buckshot. [Summer 2008]

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