After 15 years and eight albums without a single shift in personnel, Sloan obviously feels empowered to exercise its ambitions. That's evident on Never Hear the End of It — 30 tracks crammed onto a single disc, hence a title that seems something of an understatement. Owing to its distinctly '70s sound — a retro approach that's inextricably tied to established pop precepts — it suggests a game of Name That Tune, each song echoing a vaguely familiar melody from some earlier era. The vibrant, effusive "Flying High Again" sounds suspiciously like something once sung by Sister Sledge. The chugging rhythm of "Who Taught You to Live Like That" mimics Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky." The acoustic strum of "Listen to the Radio" bears an uncanny resemblance to ELO, while the lethargic ballad turned perky pop of "Fading Into Obscurity" taps Paul McCartney's early style. Whether these similarities are intended as some sort of inside joke is a matter of conjecture. No matter; these comparisons may be obvious, but then, so is the Sloan savvy.


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