Sloan – Twice Removed

Artist: Sloan
Genre: Power Pop
Title: Twice Removed
Label: Geffen
Format: CD
Musicians: Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, Jay Ferguson
Andrew Scott

Sloan is a Toronto-based rock/power pop quartet from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Throughout their over twenty-five-year career, Sloan has released 11 LPs, two EPs, a live album, a Greatest hits album and more than thirty singles. The band is known for their sharing of songwriting from each member of the group and their unaltered line-up throughout their career. All four members of Sloan write their own songs, and when they play live they switch instruments accordingly. Usually the band performs as follows: Murphy is on lead vocals and plays bass, Pentland is also on lead vocals and plays lead guitar, Ferguson plays rhythm guitar, and Scott plays drums. The most notable exception is when Scott picks up the guitar to play his songs; Ferguson and Murphy switch to bass and drums, respectively. Prior to 2006’s Never Hear the End of It, Ferguson and Scott would also play electric piano on songs that called for it; since joining in 2006 multi-instrumentalist Gregory Macdonald has handled all keyboard duties live and in the studio. While Murphy has written more of the band’s songs than any of the other members, Pentland is nonetheless responsible for having written many of Sloan’s most recognizable hits. Perhaps more noteworthy, however, is the fact that every member of the group has contributed at least two songs per album, with only the following exceptions:

The band was formed in 1991 when Chris Murphy and Andrew Scott met at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax; Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson joined soon after. The band is named after the nickname of their friend, Jason Larsen. Larsen was originally called Slow One by his French-speaking boss which, with the French accent, sounded more like “Sloan”. The original agreement was that they could name the band after Larsen as long as he was on the cover of their first album. As a result, it is Larsen who appears on the cover of the Peppermint EP, which was released on the band’s own label, Murderecords.
Official website:

Twice Removed is the second album by Canadian rock band Sloan, released on Geffen Records in 1994. The album took seven weeks and cost $120,000 to record. It is considered to be one of the band’s best albums, as well as one of the greatest Canadian albums of all time. More melodic than their previous album, Smeared, Geffen gave the record little promotion because it defied the label’s commercially dominant grunge rock style of the time. Furthermore, the band was dropped from Geffen after Twice Removed’s release. After the band’s trouble with the label, they took time off from touring and writing, and were rumoured to have broken up. Inside are hand-drawn pictures of a drum kit and two men. Other images include a lady talking on the phone, a motorbike, and two dogs. On the back of the liner notes are drawings of cars and a binder with the title “Sloan” on it. On the back of the case, a snare drum with all the tracks’ names on Twice Removed engraved into its side is displayed.

Overall the album has good lyrics in all the songs and is well done power pop. There is a vinyl version, but I don’t know if it is good or not as the provenance is not known. It is also difficult to find.

1. “Penpals”– This is a great song and I can relate to it since I too have had and do have a few friends from around the world. The idea and lyrics came from when the band signed to Geffen and were looking through broken english fan letters to Kurt Cobain.
2. “I Hate My Generation”- This is a quintessential power pop song
3. “People of the Sky”- This song starts by sounding like it was recorded on a little portable tape recorder from the 70s on purpose, then it goes into sounding like the style of bands such as The Association. A really good job done on this one.
4. “Coax Me”– Solid power pop
5. “Bells On”– This is just an ok song.
6. “Loosens“- One of my least favorite tracks as the vocals are not that good, but the music is not bad.
7. “Worried Now”– This is a solid power pop song with a similar feel of bands like The Posies
8. “Shame Shame”– This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It is strong power pop and reminds me of what it might sound like if The Doors and Red Kross had a power pop kid, this is what it would sound like.
9. “Deeper Than Beauty”- This song is not one of my favorites either as it is similar to track six
10. “Snowsuit Sound”- Well, this song is interesting, if nothing else with the fuzz bass, hand clap and straight beat snare drum.
11. “Before I Do” – This song clocks in at around 7 minutes. It starts as a poorly done ballad in my opinion with a microphone effect on the vocals. About one and half minutes in it starts to show signs of slight improvement, but never quite reaches that. This pattern continues through the song which also has terrible vocals in my opinion.
12. “I Can Feel It”– This last song has a regular pop feel and is a good song with some female backing vocals.


Sarah McLachlan – Fumbling Towards Ecstacy

Artist: Sarah McLachlan
Genre: Adult Contemporary, Pop
Title: Fumbling Towards Ecstacy
Original Released: 1993
Label: Arista
Format: CD
Musicians: Sarah McLachlan – Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Piano
Bill Dillon – Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Guitorgan, Bass, Piano
Pierre Marchand – Bass, Piano, Keyboards, Fake B-3 Organ, Drum Machine, Percussion Machine, 808, Shaker, Found Sound, Brian Minato – Bass, David Kershaw – Hammond Organ, Jane Scarpantoni – Cello, Michel Dubeau – Saxophone, Ashwin Sood – Drums, Percussion, Jerry Marotta – Drums, Percussion, Lou Shefano – Drums
Guy Nadon – Drums
Producer: Pierre Marchand
Recording Engineer: Pierre Marchand
Mixing Engineer: Pierre Marchand
Mastering Engineer: Greg Calbi

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy is the third studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan.

Most of the songs on this LP were written by Sarah McLachlan and Pierre Marchand.
Here is something I never thought I would write as Sarah McLachlan is one of my favorite artists, but unfortunately this album is a sonic disaster. The music on this album is excellent as expected from Sarah, but sonically, this LP falls all the way down the stairs and breaks its neck. It is heavily compressed and the sound stage is so narrow you can laser cut with it. The mix was sloppy on a few of the tracks such as on Track #3, “Plenty” samples are over-used here and there are several mixing mis-steps on the backing vocals and it sounds as though the mix was haphazardly stitched together in the channels. In Track #4, “Good Enough”, the drums are fantastic with the great drumming of Ashwin Sood, but they are too forward in the mix.
The thing to note though, that I want you to know is that live version of all of the songs on this album are the best of the best. I guess these songs were made to be performed live, because they are very good sonically performed live.

1. “Possession”
2. “Wait”
3. “Plenty”
4. “Good Enough”
5. “Mary”
6. “Elsewhere”
7. “Circle”
8. “Ice”
9. “Hold On”
10. “Ice Cream”
11. “Fear”
12. “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy”


The Association – And Then Along Comes…

Artist: The Association
Genre: Classic Rock, Rock, 60’s rock, 60’s Pop
Title: And Then Along Comes…
Original Released: 1966
Label: Warner Bros
Format: Vinyl
Producer: C. Boettcher
Engineers:Gary Paxton & Pete Romano…_Along_Comes_the_Association And Then… Along Comes the Association is the debut studio album by the American sunshine pop band the Association, and was released originally on Valiant Records, in July 1966. It became one of the top selling LPs in America, peaking at number five, and remains the Association’s most successful album release, with the exception of their Greatest Hits compilation. Continue reading