Barenaked Ladies Are Me Review

artist: barenaked ladies date: 03/31/2009 category: compact discs
barenaked ladies: Barenaked Ladies Are Me
Release Date: Sep 12, 2006
Label: Desperation
Genres: Alternative Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 13
For a band 16 years into its career, it's great to hear an album so full of sparkling, positive-minded songcraft and thoughtful revelations.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 9.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.5 
 Users rating:
 9.5 
 Votes:
 13 
reviews (4) 8 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Barenaked Ladies Are Me Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 18, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Barenaked Ladies are a band that have been around since 1988. Now, 18 years into their musical career, they have released the album they want to release. "Barenaked Ladies Are Me" (BLAM) is the band's first independently released album since they seperated from the label "Reprise Records" after 2003's "Everything To Everyone". This is the most collaborative album they have released as they have their bass player Jim Creeggan and their keyboard player Kevin Hearn co-writing and performing their own songs on the album. The sound is full but sometimes it can be a little bit busy for the listener. It also leaves this reviewer to wonder how they will recreate the sound playing live. Overall the sound is very good. The busy-ness of the CD leads me to give it a 9 in this category. // 9

Lyrics: Barenaked Ladies have been masters of clever and thoughtful lyrics ever since they started. This is once again shown in BLAM. From the first track "Adrift", written by keyboard player Kevin Hearn, comes a flurry of clever puns and clever lyrics. Some of these being, "You're an abacus and my heart was counting on us." "The birches bark, the willows weep. Clever turns of phrase keep this track up as one of my favourites. The second single, "Wind It Up" (a breakup song) produces these gems: "I was a baby when I learned to suck but you have raised it to an artform." "I can't believe that you believe that I would fake it. Wait. 'Less you count the things I said when we were naked." The CD is filled with amazing lyrics. Steven Page and Ed Robertson, the lead singers are at their prime in BLAM. Ed has never sounded better in songs like "Bank Job" and Steve still amazes in songs like "Sound of Your Voice". Kevin and Jim add songs on the album. Kevin's "Vanishing" is a beautiful song. His voice takes a while to get used to though and it comes off as weak for a lot of people. Jim's song, "Peterborough and the Kawarthas" is song fantastically. I give the lyrics a solid 10. // 10

Overall Impression: My overall impression is that this is one of my favourite BnL albums. I love the variety of it. I love the lyrics. I love the music. It's just a great album. Below is a breakdown of the songs and some strong/weak points. 01. Adrift - not the stronges opening song. Features a banjo for the first time in a BnL album since 1994's "Maybe You Should Drive". The lyrics totally make this track. 02. Bank Job - the story of a bank robbery gone wrong because the bank was full of nuns. Ed's vocals shine through. Though this track can be seen as just another silly song, There is a sadness throughout it. 03. Sound Of Your Voice - wow. Great song, great kind of swinging rythym. Steve's vocals are amazing. 04. Easy - the first single off the record. It's kind of repetitive. The harmonies are very nice though. Cool guitar riff as well. 05. Home - nothing really special about this song. Lyrics are good. Singing is normal for any BNL song. Great harmonies. Mandolin really adds to it. 06. Bull In A China Shop - just a great tune. Rocking tempo, fun lyrics. "I can't hear a thing cause I stopped listening." Nice horn arrangement. 07. Everything Had Changed - it's a different song. Another song with banjo. It took me a while to get used to. It's acoustic, there is no percussion save hand claps in the chorus. Nice accordian solo. 08. Peterborough And The Kawarthas - I'm not normally a fan of Jim's stuff but PatK is a great song. Kind of mellow. 09. Maybe You're Right - an awesome song. It's kind of the ballad of BLAM. Big horn outro. Beautiful singing. 10. Take It Back - a good Ed song. Offers some good and thought-provoking lyrics. "Think of all the lives saved by plastic knives." "We will never lose if we remove our shoes." 11. Vanishing - it's a pretty song by Kevin. Nothing too special here. 12. Rule The World With Love - clever song. Good lyrics. Draws similarities between war and love. Good rocking track. 13. Wind It Up - the second single. Great song. Funny lyrics and awesome guitar riff. Kim Mitchell adds the solo to this song. Love it. It's just a great album. Definitely pick it up. If it were lost/stolen, I'd buy it again. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Barenaked Ladies Are Me Reviewed by: jwknov29, on january 15, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Barenaked Ladies are unique. Their biggest hits are a campfire singalong and a pop song with freestyle rap verses. The former contains the phrase "Haven't you always wanted a monkey?" and the latter contains the phrase "Chickety China, the Chinese chicken." It's hard to believe this band can make such brilliant, smooth music. However, it was evident with most of the tracks on Gordon, the band's first album, that their sillyness wasn't the only trick they had up their sleeve. Barenaked Ladies Are Me is the album the Barenaked Ladies should be making at this point in their career. Everything to Everyone was a solid record, but was not as impactful as Are Me. The record combines songwriting from four of the five members and showcases the bands unique sound like no other record of theirs could. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics, as expected, are top notch. If there's one thing the Barenaked Ladies can do, it's write a smart song. Even the silly-on-the-surface Robertson number, "Bank Job," there are clever, witty lyrics that can make you smile. Post 9/11 song "Take it Back" describes some of today's absurd national security measures. The album's opener, "Adrift," has smart lyrics that help distract from the unoriginal song concept of yet another heartbreak, and "Rule the World with Love" dares everyone to do what the title suggests. // 9

Overall Impression: There's not a bad song on the CD. Each song seems to come together effortlessly. Jim Creeggan's lead vocal on "Peterborough and the Kawarthas" is a nice feature, as is Kevin Hearn's lead vocal on the hypnotic "Vanishing." There are beautiful songs, such as "Adrift" and "Home," as well as rockin' songs such as "Sound of Your Voice" and "Bull in a China Shop." Southern rocker "Wind it Up" closes out the record with a bang. Of course, it wouldn't be a BNL record with a mid-album track like "Maybe You're Right," a powerful anthem sung by the always insightful Steven Page. Barenaked Ladies Are Me may be the Barenaked Ladies best album yet. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Barenaked Ladies Are Me Reviewed by: karliswilde, on september 12, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well the first thing I can say, is that, at it's high points, this album contains some of the best songs of Barenaked Ladies career. Since the release of their full length album, Gordon, Barenaked Ladies have been creating some of the best music in the industry, and this album is no exception. When it shines, it shines big. All the songs are at least good; some aren't great, such as Jim Creegan's 'Peterborough and the Kawarthas', which is also sung by the bass player. I think that's what throws the song off, I'm used to Steve or Ed singing the songs, because that is the sound of Barenaked Ladies. Alright song, but just not the same. The same can be said of the Kevin Hearn fronted song 'Vanishing'. Don't get me wrong, that is an awesome song, but I would have preferred to see it on a Thin Buckle CD than mixed in with a bunch of Barenaked Ladies music. It's very good, just not consistent. All in all however, the sound and music of this album is just incredible, in songs such as my personal favorite 'Bull in a China Shop', and 'Bank Job', where the production is very interesting, and therefore great. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics and vocals of this album are some of the best that you can possibly find in the world today. With driving melodies, and surprisingly catchy lines for some reason that I can't explain, like 'I can't hear a thing, 'cause I stopped listening' and 'Shall I take back everything I've ever said and live my whole life in silence instead'. Great lyrics, by song: 01. Adrift - you can tell just by a first listen of this song that Kevin Hearn was involved in writing it. Great song, and great lyrics. 02. Bank Job - wow. Great song, and probably Ed's best vocals to date. One of the very best on the album. 03. Sound Of Your Voice - another one of my favorites, and the first song on the album where you get to hear Steve sing lead. He sings this song incredibly. Apparenlty it's a Hearn song, which surprises me, it seems quite rocked up for Kevin. Incrdible. 04. Easy - the first single off the album, great tune, great melody, incredible guitar, very warm sounding. Good song, and good choice for a single. 05. Home - probably my least favorite song on the album; the lyrics are great, but the song and the melody itself just. I don't know, it just doesn't do it for me. Seems too much like a filler. 06. Bull In A China Shop - it doesn't get any better than this. This song reminds me of both 'Too Little Too Late' from Maroon, and 'Elf's Lament' from Barenaked For the Holidays, which are two of my favorite songs. Great lyrics, great melody, great music. Definettely my favorite track on the album. 07. Everything Had Changed - a good song. Not great, but good. Very, very uniqute, I love the instruments in it. It's weird. I think it'll only get better with time, however. 08. Peterborough And The Kawarthas - well, it's another Creegan song. I'm not a big fan of his work, but overall this is one of his better songs. Weird lyrics, but surprisingly well sung, and good music behind it, it's actually good. 09. Maybe You're Right - another absolutely great song. I love the response to Steve's vocals from Ed. Great lyrics and music, great song. 10. Take It Back - another great Ed vocal song. Nothing really to say about it, but great piano, and great singing. Good tune. 11. Vanishing - I've gotta say, as a fan myself of Thin Buckle, this is a great song. However, it doesn't really fit on this album. I feel this song should've been saved to be done with Kevin's own band. It just doesn't feel right on this album. Whenever I listen to it, I just think to myself of it as a Thin Buckle song; it actually makes me love the song. 12. Rule The World With Love - I'm not even sure yet what I think about this song. Every time I hear it, I hear something new that I like. For some reason it kind of reminds me of Smash Mouth. Weird. Sounds most like 'Upside Down' from Everything to Anyone than any other BNL song. I think I like it though. 13. Wind It Up - the second single from the album, and probably the best choice too. It's a fun song, with one of the best guitar riffs I've heard in a while. Really good tune, and good singing on Ed's part. I also love the harmonies in the chorus. Overall, great album lyrically. // 9

Overall Impression: In this album, Barenaked Ladies have, while still maintaining their style, made something new and great. Parts of the album remind me of every Barenaked Ladies album so far, and I just love that. The only thing about it that bugs me is the Creegan and Hearn sung songs; not neccesairly bad songs, they just don't really work. Other than that it's a great album. Quite possibly the best one this year. There's no way you can miss out on this great album, and if you lose it, definettely buy it again. It's a great BNL classic. // 9

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overall: 10
Barenaked Ladies Are Me Reviewed by: monkeys26, on march 31, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Almost immediately, the listener of this album finds himself swept up into a sea of sound, with various voices such as a banjo, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars, cello, double and electric basses, various keyboard and piano sounds, drums, and various other percussion instruments, spread throughout the album. Though some have described it as a little too "busy", I find it very fun when I listen to a song and hear an instrument part that I never even knew existed. It adds a whole new level of enjoyment to music listening. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are Barenaked Ladies, through and through, which only means that they deserve a much higher ranking than I am allowed to give here. It's a rare occurence for me to listen to some BNL and hear any lyrics that I thought could have been done any better by any lyricist in the universe. And singing? You will never find a more powerful singer than Steven Page, whose recent departure from the band leaves him missed by all BNL fans. His voice is very undeniably full and round, especially towards the beginning of live shows, as he appears to grow tired near the ends of shows. However, his singing is still quite enjoyable. Ed Robertson, however, is just as talented a singer, but provides a different sound to the group. Since Steven's departure from BNL, Ed has taken over a few of Steven's songs (ex: The Old Apartment), and sounds good doing it. Kevin's voice is different, often considered weak. Yes, Kevin has a weak voice, but he found his niche as a singer with "Vanishing", and I couldn't ask for a better vocal track there. Jim has a great voice, and really rocks it out with "Peterborough and the Kawarthas". All in all, vocals and lyrics are a very strong point in BNL, but nowhere near the only feature of their music. // 10

Overall Impression: I must say, there were a few songs that, at first, were completely lost on me. However, I now find the entire album enjoyable to listen to (it's just my style, it's not BNL's fault at all). And now to break down the entire album: 01.Adrift: a beautiful piece of art, with Ed rocking his 6-string banjo and Jim simultaneously working a cello he happened to have. As Jim noted on the BNL blog, the cello and banjo really worked together. The singing and lyrics are also top-notch. 02.Bank Job: this song is funny and melancholy at the same time. It shows a failed bank robbery, from the robber's perspective. It really works with the songs around it on the album to make the beginning great. 03.Sound Of Your Voice: at first, I hated this song to death. I now look back, wondering if I suffered massive brain damage when I was young that I recently recovered from, because it is now one of my favorite songs from the album. Steve's vocals just really rock this song, and the guitar solos are a great touch. 04.Easy: this has never been one of my favorite songs, mostly because it is very repetitive. However, the bridge is a high point in the song. 05.Home: this song features some nice lyrics and singing, and showcases Kevin's talent as a guitarist and as a mandolinist, as he provides a guitar solo and some nice rhythm mando. 06.Bull In A China Shop: this song is rock at some of it's highest. It's fast-paced and the lyrics are witty. The instruments are nothing special, though the horn section is a nice touch. 07.Everything Had Changed: I really like the accordion solo here, but I just don't feel it with this song. However, as in Adrift, I like how the banjo and cello work off of each other. 08.Peterborough And The Kawarthas: while the previous song on the album was lost on me, this song pulls the ratings back up with Jim's beautiful tune here. The instruments, again, are nothing special, but with such talented singing, the instruments are barely necessary. 09.Maybe You're Right: this ballad works from a little keyboard riff and some singing to a massive masterpiece, combining drums, bass, keyboards, guitars, and a horn section, all pulling the listener into a world that can never be gone to without this song. 10.Take It Back: this is definitely my favorite song on the entire album, combining a bright, chimey piano, a bass guitar, a drumkit and Ed's mastered vocals that adds in other instruments as the song progresses, becoming a big, slow spectacle of rock music. 11.Vanishing: working off of the mood built by Take it Back, Kevin's song here really works for his voice, and I couldn't ask for anything more. I was a Kevin Hearn fan from the moment I heard this song. It's melancholy, along with the two songs before it, and takes you to the same world. 12.Rule The World With Love: this is another song that I just couldn't get into. It just doesn't seem to work with what came before it. 13.Wind It Up: Featuring Kim Mitchell with his "Solo electric guitar to the MAX". everything about this song rocks. Ed's voice is a great rock voice, and it is showcased and put on display for all to see in this song. This album combines several forms of rock, and a little bit of bluegrass, to really move the listener. I have heard some comments that the album "sounds like a paycheck", and that it appears that they stopped caring, but I must disagree. I was really moved by this album, and don't think that they only made it for the money. // 10

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