Pretty Together

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The aptly titled Pretty Together may be the first Sloan album that sounds like it was made by the band as a whole, and not the four individual singer/songwriters. At first listen, Pretty Together may seem a lot like the band's previous efforts -- there's the obligatory Kiss anthem ("Pick It Up and Dial It"), the radio hit ("If It Feels Good Do It"), and the wistful ballad ("Dreaming of You"). But there are also subtle changes -- the cheekiness of previous songs like "Autobiography" and "Chester the Molester" has been replaced by the melancholy of "The Life of a Working Girl" and the cold, apathetic "Other Man." Sullen, self-pitying songs like "I'm Not Through With You Yet" have turned into the self-satisfied "It's in Your Eyes." Sloan has always written contemplative songs, but they're more serious and mature than ever before; "Are You Giving Me Back My Love?" is delicate and sorrowful, and "I Love a Long Goodbye" is achingly honest and beautiful. All in all, Pretty Together shows the bandmembers' styles becoming more blurred, and with pleasing results.

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