I may be reviewing this album a tad prematurely, but I was stuck in traffic for over an hour today and played the album twice on my way home from work. Therefore, I feel like like it's all fresh in my mind, so let's get on with it!
Some biographical background: I once considered myself a huge Sloan fan and I bought all the Japanese imports and vinyl that I could find. I loved Betweem The Bridges, but I haven't loved any Sloan albums since. Parallel Play has been the one I've liked the most since then, but I can't remember any of the songs distinctly. I liked the Hit & Run EP as well, but not enthralled.
I do like The Double Cross. I'm not in love with it yet, but I firmly like over half the album. I love two tracks: Chris' "Follow The Leader" and Patrick's "Unkind". Both are incredible songs. Both remind me of what made me go nuts for Sloan a long time ago. Both have really immediate choruses, but both also really capture a vibe. You'll know what I mean when you heard them.
I also quite like "Shadow Of Love" which sounds new wavy to me, like something Elvis Costello would have written. Little bit of moog on there. I also quite like Patrick's "I Gotta Know", a melodic punk-like rocker. Jay's "Beverly Terrace" is like a disco song, no kidding, and it's great. I also like Jay's "The Answer Was You". The closer "Laying So Low" is quite good as well, a slower one which ends the album on a bittersweet note.
There are two bonus tracks worth grabbing: "Then Again" is my third favourite song on the record, a Chris song with a dark almost heavy metal vibe (although the song is not a metal song). "Jesus Loves Me" is a Patrick rocker with a heavy distorted riff like something Weezer might have done.
For best results, play loud. In traffic.
Don't like the cover art though. I love a lot of Sloan covers like One Chord and Navy Blues, and you can see they're going for that two-colour-portrait look here, but the gold and purple are kinda putrid. Not really a cover that jumps out at you at the record store. But then again, who browses record stores anymore? Sigh.
So yeah, I like the record. Not in love with it yet. I'm going to keep playing it and giving it a chance, because tracks 1 and 3 are so damm good. I'm gonna give it: