Sloan has a good mix of James Blunt and Damien Rice going on with K.T. but it’s his vocal that makes the most distinction and sets him apart from any contemporary. His songs are stripped bare, but his voice is layered with textures ranging from mild mannered croons, to soft murmurs, and then arcing up into gravely belts, the kind that sound like the man has seen some things in his life. That tone is capturing and unique, but more so with Sloan because it isn’t forced or exaggerated.
I played with a guy who strained his voice night after night to achieve the same quality and it never did the job, not to mention the damage he was doing. There are only three songs at hand, but somehow Sloan manages to showcase his talent in nearly full range, with songs that break the heart, mend it, or simply remind it that love exists. The shades of emotion ebb and flow while following the short timeline of love found, love cherished, love lost. Easily, the most painful short story the romantic will ever know.
“I Found Love” is as joyful as you could imagine supplied some nice acoustic and a little uplift. It doesn’t quite mark the same maturity as the following two, but that’s what new love is about right? Some naivete, hopeful expectations, and trying to keep your head on straight, that’s the recipe. The chorus is bright but also alludes to an end we can see not far off. “I found love and I don’t wanna let it go,” could be seen as foreshadowing, but if you’d rather not get that gut pang of loss, forget I said anything.
Lying in the middle is “You’re The One For Me,” possibly my favorite. The reverb on the final chorus is atmospheric and brings up even more potential foreshadowing. It’s powerful, but almost too soon. The struggles of relationships put to the wind with optimism and set to a convincing melodic round. And as all things begin, so they must end. “Regret” is that ending. The chord progression sits somewhere between solace and emptiness, the vocal line is haunting just like the sad memories of failed bonds, and at the core of it is a full circle narrative – the good times got old, the joy became work, the simple things were taken for granted.
On K.T., Sloan is nothing short of brilliant. Let these songs soothe your heartache or inspire a new beginning, but if nothing else, just enjoy the soul being poured out before you.
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