Category: Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies – Maybe You Should Drive

ARTIST: Barenaked Ladies Barenaked_Ladies_-_Maybe_You_Should_Drive
TITLE: Maybe You Should Drive
YEAR RELEASED: 1994
CHART ACTION: #175 US, #8 US Heatseekers, #3 Canada, #57 UK
SINGLES: Jane (#3 Canada); Alternative Girlfriend (#22 Canada); Life, in a Nutshell (#29 Canada)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably none.
LINEUP: Andrew Creegan, Jim Creegan, Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Tyler Stewart
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: BNL moves away from the quirkly, clever and funny and becomes…dull.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Well played, well sung, good harmonies and boring. Yeah, boring. After the hi-jinks and fun times on their debut the Barenaked Ladies play it straight. It doesn’t really work.

There are some very clever songs here, like “Alternative Girlfriend” and “These Apples”, that show a great spark. However, on this album at least, BNL shows that they’re really in the middle-of-the-road without their wit. Safe doesn’t cut it.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Unlike the previous album, there’s only two tracks co-written by Page and Robertson.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: C+: As with most competent, dull albums, I’ll put it in this range. A couple good tunes doesn’t make up for the torpor on some of them. And I’m going to exile the dullest.

Barenaked Ladies – Gordon

ARTIST: Barenaked Ladies Gordon-album
TITLE: Gordon
YEAR RELEASED: 1992
CHART ACTION: #1 Canada
SINGLES: Be My Yoko Ono (#77 Canada), Enid (#2 Canada), Grade 9 (#53 Canada), If I Had $1000000 (#13 Canada), Brian Wilson (#18 Canada), What a Good Boy (#34 Canada)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I think the above is what anyone from the States knows.
LINEUP: Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Jim Creegan, Andy Creegan, Tyler Stewart
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Canadian hipster wiseacres record first for-real album full of witticisms and harmonies.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Back in 1992, this group of Canadians were a breath of fresh air amongst the sourpusses in the grunge era. They had a clean, bright sound, sang really tight harmonies and were rather amusing.

It took a while for them to break in the US, but Canada loved them almost right away – their independently recorded 5-song cassette EP went Gold. That’s something that would never happen here.

This debut’s high points are all of the humorous songs, though the more serious songs are nicely played and sung as well. Frankly, I was surprised by this record, I thought it would have more filler. Now some songs probably needed to be trimmed off – at 15 tracks that’s a lot – but the non-familiar-to-the-US songs are just as well-crafted as the others.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Despite the success of their tape, they still had to win a radio station contest to get the money to record this album.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B+: A bit overly long, but a solid album.