August 1998

Sloan - Navy Blues
Murderecords MURSD 036
Released: 1998

by Bruce Bassett

Musical Performance ***1/2
Recording Quality ***
Overall Enjoyment ****

[Reviewed on CD]Review log. August 1, 1998. Bassett v. Sloan.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, by the end of this review I will have successfully proven beyond a reasonable doubt that The Beatles have been reincarnated in the form of Sloan. Be forewarned, the defense will try and paint a picture of three very much alive former Beatles and use this alleged information to prove the impossibility of reincarnation. They will attempt to confuse you with this and other material facts. Ladies and gentlemen, you must remain focused and not succumb to the defense’s evil ploy of using the truth. The real mistruth of the matter is that the physical and aural evidence that I am about to present to you today is incontrovertible.

Let me first point out a few unchallenged facts.

  • Fact: Sloan is made up of four thin lads with straight, brown, shoulder-length hair.
  • Fact: The drummer, Andrew Scott, was a classmate of Chris Murphy’s at art school.
  • Fact: In 1997, Sloan released a "White Album."
  • Fact: Patrick Pentland, who is on the far right in Exhibit One, looks eerily similar to John Lennon.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know you are intelligent and reasonable people. I know you can easily recognize that the facts presented thus far clearly demonstrate some undeniable similarities between the two bands. But, on the slight chance that any of you remain unconvinced, I would like to call my surprise witness to the stand. I would like to call Sloan’s Navy Blues. [insert audible gasp of surprise from the courtroom gallery here]

I first bring to your attention "C’mon, C’mon (We’re Gonna Get It Started)." To hear this RealAudio testimony we must leave the review temporarily and travel to the following link . Listen closely to those vocal harmonies -- is that a hint of an English accent I hear coming through? And how about the use of "yeah, yeah, yeah" in the chorus? Now where have we heard that before, hmmm?

As my final witness I had intended to call "I Wanna Thank You," but conveniently she is unavailable to testify. It seems as though she has left the country and is living in Liverpool, England under the alias of one "Eleanor Rigby."

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I will concede to the defense the fact that Navy Blues contains numerous other retro-pop influences, such as the AC/DC-inspired "Money City Maniacs." And I must also concede that Sloan has uncanny pop sensibilities and successfully presents the grand illusion of a style all of their own. But, heed my words, these diversionary tactics are intended to lead you away from the truth. And ladies and gentlemen, isn’t it the truth we are all searching for here? What’s that Madame Foreperson? You say, the m-m-music is more important, and everyone else feels that way too?

Well, your Honor, in light of the fact that the jury just wants to enjoy the music, the prosecution hereby withdraws all charges. [insert loud courtroom cry of elation, deafening Sloan music, and general pandemonium here]