Relatively hot on the heels of Sloan's exhaustive (and somewhat exhausting) 30-song epic Never Hear The End Of It comes a leaner but no less comprehensive survey of power-pop sounds past and slightly less past, Parallel Play. "If you believe that everybody needs to shake it loose, then everyone will rock and everybody will roll," sings guitarist Patrick Pentland on the opening track, "Believe In Me," throwing down the gauntlet for fun, fun, fun over the next 37 minutes. As always, Sloan owns the '60s and '70s, crafting impeccable bop-around melodies and chipper harmonies in the form of sweeping psychedelic ballads, soft-rock confessionals, and arena-ready ragers. Like its predecessor, Parallel Play flows effortlessly from one song to the next like one big sugar-fueled pop suite. 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. With this many good songs to go around, a few bum hooks can't kill the buzz.

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