SameDiff BNL

Everything to Everyone

By ADAM GONSHOR, *andPOP, 21st October 2003.

Which male band can get away with lyrics like "Everything will always be alright when we go shopping?" The Barenaked Ladies. Shopping, their ode to shopping, which is more like an ode to life, appears on their new CD, "Everything for Everyone."

A lot of the album shows their folk-rock side, such as on Maybe Katie and Next Time. The latter includes the lyrics, "you can always get it right next time," hopefully hinting at future albums. The song Unfinished also hints that way.

Another Postcard, the first single from this album, can be classified as a few genres: pop, rock, and reggae. Yes, reggae. The way Ed Robertson sings the verses so rapidly shows he can hold his own with Sean Paul.

They sing about their fame on the Celebrity: "I'll be imitated and overrated, but that doesn't bother me." It's sung so calm, showing how little their celebrity status means to them. It's more of a joke than a serious song, yet that's the way it's performed. To the casual music listener, it would sound like the Ladies are conceited in singing about their fame. They just don't get these guys.

Testing 1, 2, 3 is a more appropriate representation of the boys. "Can anyone hear me if I shed the irony... if I act less like me?," sings Robertson, who shares vocal duties on the album with Steven Page. He questions whether or not BNL would be the same if they took the goofiness away and just blatantly shouted out each message of the song for everyone to understand without thinking. Probably not. What sets this band apart is their ability to act crazy, yet get serious when it's time to change attitudes.

They joke around with Second Best but get serious on War on Drugs and Take it Outside.

The album is a way for the Barenaked Ladies to show that more serious side to them, but they don't lose those eccentric roots.

Rating: Four stars.