Maroon review by Barenaked Ladies

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  • Released: Sep 12, 2000
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (4 votes)
Barenaked Ladies: Maroon

Sound — 10
The follow up to 'Stunt', 'Maroon' shows a more mature, serious sounds for the band, while it does also retain the eccentric aspects known from BnL. Starting with 'Too Little Too Late', you hear a slightly distorted electric riff, which is somewhat uncanny for longtime BnL fans. This riff is then coupled by acoustic guitar overlays and keyboards, bringing in the familiar BnL tone. However, as you listen closely to the song, each successive chorus features a heavier distortion on the electric riff. Followed by a personal favorite, 'Never Do Anything", a good use of keyboard panning is used the intro and choruses, along with electric (clean and distorted) is used during the verses and the bridge of the song. The albums' most popular single, 'Pinch Me', features that familiar acoustic lead-in BnL fans look for, with the lead guitar continuing to be acoustic throughout the song. 'Falling for the First Time', another single, features a fast-beat, with the full band playing from the first note. 'Conventioneers', the mellowed-out mid-point of the album gives listeners a chance to pause and soak in the left-ear guitar and the right-ear piano, brought together by Steve's centered vocals. 'Sell Sell Sell' is a nice, dramatic, track, featuring a pronounced drum line by Tyler, with a nice periodic duet between Steve and Ed. 'Humor of the Situation', 'Baby Seat', and 'Off The Hook' all feature strong vocals by Steve, along with leads by Kevin on keyboard. The last track, 'Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel', featuring only a banjo, keyboards and drums, leaves you with a surreal feeling of being in a darkly-humored car crash, rolling and flipping along with the music.

Lyrics — 10
Being the sixth full-length album from the band, you would hope for a mature, thought-provoking set of lyrics from the band. Steve and Ed do not disappoint. From the straight forward lyrics of 'Too Little too Late' to the differing meanings offered in 'Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel', almost every song has a message behind it. 'Never Do Anything' has a nice apathetic feel to it, while 'Helicopters' stirs up the activist in you. However, as mature as this album may be, humor is still present. 'Pinch Me' (I could hide out under there/ I just made you say underwear), 'Tonight... ' (Stand around with their mouths open wide/Heard some idiot ask if someones inside), and 'Go Home' (And if you think of her as Catherine the Great/ Then you should be the horse to help her meet her fate) are prime examples of these humorous lines. The vocal performances by Steve are wonderfully done (see 'Sell Sell Sell'), and Ed is perfecting his signature singing style (see 'Falling for the First Time').

Overall Impression — 10
The album is somewhat of a miracle, from the beginning of recording to the finish of the following tour. After the acclaimed release of 'Stunt' and Kevin's bout with leukemia, the album really marks as a high-point in the careers of the Canadian band. Featuring a much more defined and mature sound from the first studio release of the band ('Gorden'), Maroon is an early taste of what is to be the future Bnl sound. The prominent single is 'Pinch Me', which is actually the song that got me interested in the band many years ago. The one thing that I did not like about the album was the fact that 'Baby Seat' and 'Off the Hook' required quite some listening time for me to accept that they were actual BnL songs, due to the differences in sound that those songs offer. If this album were stolen, I would buy another copy as soon as possible.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ha....yeah i guess thats what happens when you're a huge fan....and my favorite album....oops?