Barenaked Ladies Are Me review by Barenaked Ladies

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  • Released: Sep 12, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.5 (13 votes)
Barenaked Ladies: Barenaked Ladies Are Me
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Sound — 10
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.

Lyrics — 10
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

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