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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
22
Pretty Together
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$5.99+ $4.99 shipping


on November 15, 2001
this is a wonderful album. as with many sloan albums, you must do time with it. visit the website. read the bio. do a google search. you may learn the fact that there are 4 equally strong singer/songwriters in this band. that's one more than the beatles, folks. i suggest you spend some time mapping song to writer - and then span this map across 6 albums, you start to understand the brilliannce of sloan. a drummer that sings like a painter, a nice guy that sings complex poetry, a natural-born bathroom mirror trained rockstar, and a rocker that knows it's easy to blow minds...and chooses to do it.
spend time with this band. but don't sweat it if you don't have the time. just know that sloan IS that person you made suggestive eye contact with back when you had game. a heartbreaking empty spot you can certainly live with. yeah, you'll kick yourself someday...kick yourself very hard. you forgot to live a little bit harder. you slacked on sloan, dummy!
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on January 18, 2013
Sloan has made many good albums. While theres still some good songs on here, they're mostly on the first half. The other half is bland and rather forgettable. The two singles "If It Feels Good Do It" and "Other Man" are really good, but my favorite is honestly "Never Seeing the Ground For the Sky." Overall, not a bad album just not the best from sloan.
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What separates the power pop boys from the power pop men. Well, it is not the power, or the pop. It is those layered voices, tamborines, maracas.

I quickly found Sloan were men, maybe THE men, in 1998 when I heard "On The Horizon" from Navy Blues on WMFU--what I consider the world's ONLY music radio station. It is never about taking a couple Ricenbackers and chiming LA LA LA and having a bowl cut even the Beatles would now laugh you out of the stadium for. It is about the melody and textures that makes those melodies elements work.

And Sloan just has that, THING: What John Paul George and Ringo invented, Big Star gave more octane to and which you just can't fake.

On this album, it is again exploited to fantastic effect: what amazes here about our friends north of the boarder is that they are expressly NOT going up through the lineage: starting with "She Loves You" jangle. moving through Rubber Soul textural expansions, and then, yes, we are going to take all we've learned, and make an album that will shock..........shall we call it Sgt. Salt?

Ah, let me think. NO!. Sloan, probably before they started making albums, came to the shocking revelation that it is NOT 1967, so why try making it so. Instead, they sit in late 1965: not trying to copy it, not trying to feed off the body, but working that Mod percussion heavy clean music so good way back then, that the Beatles were moving ahead too fast to have time to truly dig into. The Fab Four had rock and roll to push into the future. Sloan have the luxury of history behind them and can embody any piece they love

And man. Do they do this well. Get this to find out.
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on November 8, 2001
Pretty Together is Sloan's sixth studio album, and critics are still bickering about how they sound like so-and-so and how the Great Album everyone knows they're capable of making is still out of their reach. By now, we should resign ourselves to the fact that Sloan haven't drastically changed their sound since their second album, and it doesn't look like they ever will. Which is fine. Trouble is, while churning out good album after good album, they run the risk of repeating themselves.
The new album comes close to doing just that, like it was made with the same Sloan cookie-cutter, but there really is nothing here to hate. There are the Big Riff Patrick Pentland tunes ('If It Feels Good Do It'...listen for the intentional 'Back In The Saddle' rip-off), Chris Murphy's pleasing pop tunes ('The Other Man'), Andrew Murphy's more progressive and esoteric songs ('Never Seeing The Ground For The Sky'), and Jay Ferguson's girly-voiced ballads ('Are You Giving Me Back My Love?'). All four band members are talented songwriters, and Pretty Together is typically diplomatic, with Murphy's four songs edging out the others' three each. It's enough to make you crave for a Kiss-like simultaneous release of four solo albums (personally, I'd lean more toward Scott's more lofty material).
Sloan is Canada's most consistently good band, and with the country's popular acts ranging from bombastic and pretentious (Tea Party), to plain pretentious (Matthew Good), to embarrassingly awful (Our Lady Peace), to faceless flavour-of-the-month (Nickelback, Default), to a talented lyricist backed up by a second-rate bar band (Tragically Hip), it's a shame Sloan isn't bigger than they are. Well, nonetheless, those who do love Sloan will love Pretty Together. Quite good, not wow-great, but much, much better than bad.
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on July 28, 2003
I've noticed very mixed reviews of this record but I must say I feel it is Sloan's strongest record to date. There is depth and emotion on this record that is lacking in past performances.. we are all growing up and Sloan has not lost sight of this.
If it feels good do it, is an awsome song showing Patrick Pentlands strong potential to be a real AC/DC rocker. Many of Patricks songs have been a bit 'sappy' in the past, but when he wants to rock, he sure does.
In the Movies is a great Andrew song, very pointed and clever.
The Other Man, this seems like a sarcastic song by Chris Murphy at first but I think we are seeing a sign of the Murph we may not realized existed... he's vunerable, he has depth. He expresses insecurity when he sings "Now I'm the other man... no one's rootin' for me.." I'm rootin' for ya, Chris.
Dreaming of You.. Jay Ferguson can write poppy love songs that stick in your head for days. I often mind myself singing the chorus to this song when boring songs come on the radio, or when I am working and can't listen to music.
Pick it Up and Dial it.. Perfect for listening to on "11"
The Great Wall, another great Andrew song
The Life of a Working Girl, a very slow sort of folksy song on the record, nice intermission and contrast to the songs to come. If "Deeper than Beauty" had been written ten years on, it would sound like this song.
Never seeing the ground for the sky, catchy Andrew song, again, put the cd to "11"
It's in your eyes, this is a wonderful Patrick song, confident and in love, what could be better?
Who You Talkin' To? This is a fecking classic song. Try this, when the Chris Murphy part comes on on this song (much like in 'the lines you amend') turn the song way up, I can't believe the emotions conveyed by Chris' voice in this song, it almost makes me want to cry. This is a very powerfully sung song by both Chris and Jay
I love a long goodbye, I get the same vibe from this song that I get from shame shame but this seems a bit more sincere, Chris is really doin' some self reflection in this one
Are you giving me back my love? Really sad song, Jay can really write beautiful love songs. He really is a solid hook in this record. You may only want to listen to this album once but you'll find yourself going back so that you can hear Jay's haunting vocals and depth of emotion.
Your Dreams have Come True, classic Sloan magic.
Sloan fans, if you already have, put this BACK into your cd player (until Action Pact comes out of course) This album is not for people new to Sloan, but if you like your pop/rock music with depth and soul, Sloan are your men.
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on October 25, 2001
A few months ago, I saw Sloan performing an explosive live set, in which they debuted some of the new songs from "Pretty Together", namely the rock anthems "Pick it up and dial it" and "If it feels good do it". Upon hearing them live, I was amazed and surprised by how heavy they sounded, and I wondered if this was going to be the new direction they were taking.
As it turns out, "Pretty Together" is the band's slickest sounding record to date. Needless to say, I was somewhat disappointed when I heard the studio versions of "If it feels good do it" and "Pick it up and dial it", both of which bordered on ear-crushing faux-70s rock in concert: the former, while it still sounds good on record, treads in the same waters as their previous single, "Money City Maniacs"; the latter, meanwhile, comes across as much too self-consciously tongue-in-cheek and goofy to truly "rock". And Chris Murphy doing Paul Stanley? No, thank you.
As for the rest of the album, it isn't altogether bad; it's just that Sloan hasn't really delved into any new territory. Consequently, "Pretty Together" comes across as unimaginative and uninspired, an album that's not much different stylistically from their previous three studio works in that it follows the same basic formula: it's another catchy-yet-derivative pop/rock album, in which each song can be easily compared to a hit song by a popular 60s/70s pop/rock artist. They've done it before, and they've done it better.
Thus, we have the obligatory KISS/Who/Sweet rockers ("If it feels good do it", "In the movies", "Pick it up and dial it", "never seeing the ground for the sky"); the Todd Rundgren/Wings ballads ("The Other Man", "Dreaming of You", "It's in your eyes", "Who you talkin' to?", "I love a long goodbye", "your dreams have come true"); and what turn out to be the lightest, weepiest songs the band has ever produced, the acoustic "The life of a working girl", and "Are you giving me back my love?". Unfortunately, the sonic balance that worked so perfectly on their three previous releases (One Chord to Another, Navy Blues, Between the Bridges) is not to be found here: "Pretty Together" contains too many plodding ballads, and not enough straightforward rockers. Furthermore, while Sloan are well-known for their clever, off-beat approach to songwriting, the lyrics on "Pretty Together" too often come across as just downright awkward.
I've been a fan of Sloan ever since the phenomenal "Twice Removed" came out in 1994. I enjoyed all of their previous studio albums, as well as the live double-disc, 4 Nights at the Palais Royale. I still pull out "Smeared" from time to time: I think there's something to be said for the fact that "Smeared" was energetic and "raw", two adjectives which do not apply to Pretty Together. Overall, "Pretty Together" is a pretty lacklustre effort, which is disappointing for a band of such obvious talent.
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on October 22, 2001
When I first heard Pretty Together, I was disappointed: the songs seemed weak and disjointed, not fully fleshed out, and the '80s references didn't excite me much. But I also didn't like Between the Bridges the first time I heard it, and repeated listens kept that CD in my player for many months. So if you don't like PT, give it a few more chances and you'll change your mind -- it's really a very remarkable work, if more melancholy than their previous albums put together.
It's a strong album for all four Sloaners. Patrick gives a typical Patrick rocker in "If It Feels Good," but "It's In Your Eyes" has a hypnotic backbeat and is my favorite song on the album and "Your Dreams Have Come True" is sweet enough to roll over the closing credits of a John Hughes movie. Jay's "Dreaming of You" and "Are You Giving Me Back My Love" are both strong, but "Who You Talkin' To" is gorgeous. Chris is more contemplative than usual (it'll be interesting how his songs on PT work out in concert), and Andrew is his usual baroque self ("In the Movies" is very good).
Twice Removed is still the gold standard by which Sloan albums should be judged, but this one's right up there. Now if they'd only play down here in Dallas, the world would be perfect.
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on October 18, 2001
Being fortunate enough to own all of the Sloan albums I must now direct my attention to a new sound that the band has produced. At first listen this record may have a few newcomers, and even dedicted Sloanites, scratching their heads to figure out what they think of it. But, I give an important piece of advice. Before judging this effort listen to it all the way through, at least a handful of times. After having done so I can say that this is definitely Sloan's most 'intellectual', album for lack of a better word, it took more than one listen to get it. Now I've 'gotten' it and I can definitely say that from beginning to end this album is solid, an altogether beautiful listening experience. This album is a gift to the true Sloan fan, and will also absorb newcomers straight out of the shrink wrap with "It Feels Good, Do It", a rock n' roll extravaganza to say the least. Once you've settled back in your seat you'll be blessed with such gems as "The Other Man", an almost modern day version of The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes", and "Who You Talkin' To?", a 70's feeling, saturated groove that will get your toe tapping. If you're looking for an alternative to packaged pop and need a taste of music with substance, then this an excellent album to start with. Sloan forever! Rock n Roll forever!
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on October 20, 2001
Another swell one from Sloan.
So far, my favorite songs are Jay's. He's developing into a sophisticated writer, and the arrangements on his songs are beautiful. Ditto for Andrew, whose singing gets better and writing gets more interesting with every record (c.f. his vocals back on "500 Up," where he sounded like he really didn't wan't to be singing at all).
My only objection is what feels like fewer songs and less distinctive overall input from Patrick. Some of the AC/DC and Aerosmith riffs clearly trace back to him, but the record as a whole could use more of his rock and roll mojo. I'd especially love to hear another Patrick-Chris collaboration like "Money City Maniacs"--something that finds the sweet spot between their individual obsessions.
Finally, my fave, Chris, turns in some of his prettiest, most grown-up stuff yet. He's channeling some kind of 1978 bearded singer-songwriter vibe that really works, as far as I'm concerned.
Interesting next step. Very nice for fans, prob not the best for 1st timers (stick with "Twice Removed" or "One Chord to Another"). Like all the records, it grows on me more with each listen.
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on October 17, 2001
You could put a group of long-time Sloan fans together and ask them what Sloan's "best" record is and quite possibly get six different responses. I tend to go with "One Chord to Another" (at least for this week). The point is that the Sloan catalog is quite diverse in both sound and feel, from the early "grungy/punky" sound of "Smeared" to the more 70's (Thin Lizzy, Kiss, Big Star, early Wings, etc.) derived sounds of the last couple of albums. I never in a million years expected Sloan to make this much of a leap on "Pretty Together". I was quite literally shocked at the sounds emitting from my stereo speakers. Aside from the single, "If It Feels Good Do It", this record takes some getting used to. Long-time Sloan fans will hopefully give this one a chance as this record lacks the typical Sloan "hooks" which latch onto you and never let go. For better or worse, I don't think this is the record that will push Sloan over the top of the mass commercialization mountain that they've been teetering on for years due to its sheer weirdness. I'll continue to listen and undoubtedly enjoy it more and more.
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