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Our hit count should double now that we have a page with naked repeated over and over again. Although grateful for every visitor, hit count has never been a motivation for our reviews here at Big Beef and Beer. Our motivation has always been to tell you about great music, or warn you when we were disappointed. If hits were our only motivation, we'd form a band called Bare Naked Britney Spears Hardcore and review ourselves every week.
Enough of the gratuitous play to the search engine monsters. It's time to tell you about some great music by a great band. The Barenaked Ladies have been around longer than most people are aware. In 1992, I used to play tracks off their CD Gordon while a DJ at WBGU in Bowling Green. Am I going to tell you they were better then than now? No, they have evolved though.
I enjoy Barenaked Ladies for the same reasons I've always enjoyed Barenaked Ladies: BNL has a very unique, mostly humorous way of looking at life's challenges, both past and present. Their latest CD, Maroon, continues the BNL tradition of silly throw away lines, and odd metaphors for life. The evolution occurs, because since 1992 BNL has grown up, and consequnetly the topics may have become more serious.
Their critics (Rolling Stone, CDNow) alarm me because they say BNL has lost its sense of humor. I don't agree. The first single from Maroon, Pinch Me, challenges nostalgic desires to hang on to childhood while becoming an adult. Other songs are not as blatantly silly, but there are still plenty of humourous jabs in almost every tune.
BNL's next single, Too Little Too Late, (released 3/20/01) is the only song of 12 that I can't find any throw away lines in. It's still a fun tune. Lyrics don't have to be funny for a tune to have a lighthearted tone. Too Little Too Late, is about the end of something (a relationship perhaps), but the trademark clean vocal stylings and crisp harmonies keep the tune upbeat. It should do well.
The critics point to If I Had $1,000,000 from Gordon as the "funny" song that branded BNL. However, they fail to see the real sadness of that song. Isn't it really about unrequited love? "If I had $1,000,000 I'd buy your love." In 1992 Jim Pareles of The New York Times summed up BNL better than anyone since, "It's not easy being hyperactive, brooding and whimsical all at once, but the Barenaked Ladies do just that."
get's a 5 for BNL fans, and 4 for everyone else.