Barenaked Ladies - Barenaked Ladies: Are Me
Reviewed by Dave on 27th September 2006
It's been awhile since I heard the name Barenaked Ladies and I imagine it's been a fair while for those of you who aren't avid fans of theirs as well. The last time I was actually aware of the band was when they released 'One Week' released on 'Stunt' way back in 1998 and the only reason I really knew about that song was because a biscuit company used it in an advert. But they haven't been quiet for the past eight years, there is in fact a long list of BNL albums out there but 'Barenaked Ladies: Are Me' represents the band's first original album since 2003's 'Everything to Everyone'.
The band has had a career filled with ups and downs; they have been painted as a novelty act and have featured on countless one hit wonder compilations. From their music in the early 90s they grew a fan base which was firmly established with the aforementioned 'Stunt'. In 2001 they released 'Maroon' which was a commercial flop despite carrying on 'Stunts' good times pop-rock feeling. Two years later the band came back with 'Everything to Everyone' an altogether more melodic album and now 'Barenaked Ladies: Are Me' follows in the footsteps of 'Everything to Everyone'.
'Barenaked Ladies: Are Me' is a melodious album that should be easily accessible to the majority of people. In fact if you played 'Stunt' to me and then played this album I would think they were two different bands, the BNL sound has changed massively from the days they were contemplating what they would do with a million dollars, and I think this change is for the better. Don't get me wrong I'm not dismissing their previous albums as rubbish or unimportant, I'm just saying that 'Barenaked Ladies: Are Me' is an album I thoroughly enjoyed listening to. Sure it's not as fun as previous albums; it lacks the bouncy joy-filled pop melodies that were BNL's trademark back in the day.
Stand out songs from the album include 'Take it Back' with its rather well crafted piano backing and chorus line of "we all fade to black" it's rather like something The Goo Goo Dolls or the Beautiful South might write. 'The Bank Job' tells the story of a bank job and features a rather wonderful middle eight, the song goes on to tell the story after the job as well when the robbers have been caught.
So 'Barenaked Ladies: Are Me' is a great album and well worth buying, seriously even if you don't like BNL you'll find something on this album that you will like. If there is any justice in the world this album will see BNL recapture at least some of their previous success if not all of it.
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