Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies Are Me

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Continuing in the mature, reflective vein of 2003's Everything to Everyone, the Barenaked Ladies' seventh studio album Barenaked Ladies Are Me features more of the band's trademark wit and melodic folk-rock. Never straying too far afield from the formula they've been using ever since their breakthrough 1998 album Stunt, Barenaked Ladies are true torchbearers for the post-R.E.M., post-Smiths sound that shares much in common with such bands as Beautiful South, They Might Be Giants and even Sloan. Once again, lead vocal duties are largely split between Steven Page and Ed Robertson although both pianist/guitarist Kevin Hearn and bassist Jim Creeggan take the lead here on their original tunes "Vanishing" and "Peterborogh and the Kawarthas," respectively. Interestingly, these tracks, along with Hearn's "Sound Of Your Voice", are some of the best on the album with both musicians displaying a true knack for writing heartfelt, literate and tuneful songs about leaving those you love, whether they are your wife or young son. Elsewhere, the band's gift for mixing the humorous and the poignant is evident on such eminently catchy tracks as "Bank Job," "Bull in a China Shop'," and "Rule the World with Love." For a band 16 years into its career, it's great to hear an album so full of sparkling, positive-minded songcraft and thoughtful revelations.

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