They've come a long way since their Kraft Dinner days.The Bare Naked Ladies of Canada have done it again with their smooth and sassy album Maroon. Only this time the Ladies have brought an older, wiser, and more mature sound to the table.
Not since the debut of their last block-buster hit One Week (off the Stunt album) have the Ladies been met with such an overwhelmingly positive response. Armed with a new sound featuring the upbeat comical lyrics the band is known for, as well as a peppering of more low-key tunes reminiscent of 60s lounge acts, the Bare Naked Ladies are back — big time.
Featuring a mixture of electronic samplers, organ infusions, and even clavinet moans, Maroon is about as ordinary as pickles on pizza.
The album begins with the upbeat guitar strum of Too Little Too Late, a hand-clappin' good time of a song, about the dynamics of failed relationships. Next we're met with the retro Groovy Baby intro of Never Do Anything. This tune is about the often vain quest for stardom. Its acoustic interlude, which is vaguely familiar of the Counting Crows, lends a unique quality to the already diverse mix of the song. Then comes the album's first single Pinch Me, which is a light-hearted jingle that ponders the meaning of life. Its fast rhyme beats are a slight flashback to their biggest hit One Week, which explains its popularity.
Immediately following is the romantic ballad Go Homewhich, surprisingly enough, echoes Ronald McDonald's Do You Believe In Magic. The dreamy, classic jazz sounds of Conventioneers and Sell, Sell, Sell follow with lyrics that, when followed closely, could leave a few fans with smirks on their faces. Show-biz satire is next on the Agenda with the feet-tappin' hit The Humour Of The Situation , which mirrors their classic It's All Been Done.
The classic rock intro of Baby Seatfollows which gives way to smooth, sultry beats and melancholy lyrics about growing up. Boy George and Annie Lennox fans out there will swoon over the keyboard/synthesizer intro and interludes of the cheating heart exposé Off The Hook. Helicopters is the next track of the album and perhaps one of the most meaningful. The tune synthesizes the mixed emotions of using fame for good and being criticized for it.
Finally, the album closes up with the wistful sounds of The Night I Fell Asleep At The Wheel that sounds as though it was plucked from a travelling circus's high-wire act. The morbid tune graphically depicts a car accident. As the band explains in a recent Maclean's interview "...the song really isn't about death, it's about the cinematography of the moment." Still, that said, the tune needs an acquired taste to really enjoy it.
Overall, the album is a great work. Perhaps a bit too mature for the latest MTV generation but as a whole it's one of the best and most eclectic albums they've produced over their ten year legacy in the music industry. The lyrics have meaning and the sound has diversity, lending a new side to the Ladies that's more than Bare Naked.
Sounds Like: The Beatles, Eagle Eye Cherry, Burt Bacharach
Best Tracks: Pinch Me, Go Home, Humour Of The Situation
Check out: www.barenakedladies.com
CRITIQUES OF ARTICLE BY PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
A mature, vigorous writing style; lots of sraightforward opinions on the contents of the album. The whole thing reads very much like professional reviews of the same genre.
This is a bright and lively piece, and the writer shows a very mature voice! It has a real air of authority on the subject. The song-by-song description gets a bit repetitious and it becomes a bit hard to really imagine the songs, but the word choices are often imaginative and clever. It might have been a bit better to explore a theme (such as the more mature voice of the BNL on this album) and draw examples from the songs to illustrate this, rather than dealing with each song individually.
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