SameDiff BNL

Barenaked for the Holidays

By CHRISTINA FUOCO, liveDaily, 4th November 2003.

For the last 15 years, Barenaked Ladies have been considered the court jesters of pop-rock. The Canadian quintet has parlayed its quirky sense of humor into a career, singing and rapping about an odd collection of topics as varied as wasabi, Brian Wilson, a car crash and an old apartment.

On "Everything to Everyone," the follow-up to 2000's "Stunt," the band shows signs of mellowing and maturation. The quirky hand-clapper Maybe Katie, for example, takes on dating an older woman with a child: "Just because her youth is fading / it doesn't mean she's not worth dating." In the piano-driven Celebrity, Steven Page sings, "When I'm riding in my limo / I won't look out the window / Might make me homesick for humanity."

Save for the sprightly first single, Another Postcard, the jokes here are subtler than the overt offerings of albums past. The rolling, atmospheric Aluminum starts out sounding like a tender love song but slowly takes a turn like a knife in someone's back. Although more mature, it's still classic BNL word play.