Sloan managed to tinker with its signature sound -- '60s pop meets '90s indie pop -- while pleasing its current fans and gaining new ones. The band's fifth studio album, Between the Bridges, is one of its best and most consistent -- it's Navy Blues with better production, higher-quality songs, and a polished (but definitely not slick) sound. Sloan returns to producer/engineer extraordinaire Brenndan McGuire, who produced Twice Removed and One Chord to Another, to illustrate how the band's sound has improved and evolved since OCTA and even Navy Blues. The tighter arrangements and the band's naturally engaging songwriting make Between the Bridges a standout in the band's already impressive discography. This progression is most obvious on tracks like Andrew Scott's blues-rock anthem "Sensory Deprivation," Patrick Pentland's rocking "Friendship," Chris Murphy's Television/Halifax club ode "The Marquee and the Moon," and Jay Ferguson's mellow and bouncy "Waiting for Slow Songs." Sloan is making harder-edged, bluesier albums, but the guys still sound like a pop band: innovative, pure, and energetic. Scott's tracks, in particular, have developed from simple Beatlesque numbers into astonishingly genuine, multi-layered pop songs. Between the Bridges sounds eclectic, energized, and cohesive, even if the individual artists don't always stretch out their own compositions. Somehow the group gets better and better while still experimenting with new concepts and sounds, which is not something many bands do gracefully.
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AllMusic Review by Gina Boldman