Barenaked Ladies - Barenaked Ladies: Are Men
Reviewed by Dave on 13th January 2007
Regulars to the site will remember that in September last year I wrote this review of Barenaked Ladies first original album for three years. Well now they are releasing another one just five months later. Due for release on the 5th of February 2007 'Barenaked Ladies Are Men' is part two of the band's plans to get back to where they were way back in 1998.
If 'Barenaked Ladies Are Me' was a different direction in terms of melody and sound for the band then this album is more of a return to their 90s sound, the structure of the songs has changed and they sound much more mature now but you can steel hear the underlying influence of 'Stunt'. There are still a few slow, melodic songs on the album though, something which helps to balance the album as a whole.
Opening song 'Serendipity' is one of these slow tempo melodic songs, with its R.E.M style of guitar riff it sounds wonderful, the vocals even sound Stipe-esque and it sounds like a band who has come of age, it's a brilliant opening track and as it fades out you really want to hear more. Just as you are thinking to yourself "What pretty little song" the second song kicks in with a crash of guitars 'Something You'll Never Find' is a fast paced song that sees BNL return to their bouncing pop-rock roots, hell there is even some brass thrown in there for good measure.
Stand out songs include 'Down to Earth' a pop-rock extravaganza up-tempo which could easily be an outtake from 'Stunt'. 'The New Sad' is a rather good acoustic song about growing old, the vocals are excellent and perfectly offset the guitar, this is possibly my favourite song from the album.
'Beautiful' sounds like something that The Czars would write it is beautiful, if a little bit simplistic, it's a good song but I'm not so sure that BNL can carry it off and it never really reaches its full potential.
Closing song 'Why Say Anything Nice?' can only be described as "big" from the opening it sounds huge, perhaps it was written to be a stadium filler. It does occasionally sound like a Beautiful South song, but then again occasionally most of the songs on this album sound like something by the Beautiful South.
Another good album from BNL, and only five months after their first original album for three years, the band clearly has been planning this for sometime, and with the quality of the last two albums I would say that a comeback is definitely on the cards. Not that BNL really went away, they just went quiet for a while.
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