Barenaked Ladies

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Barenaked Ladies (Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan and Tyler Stewart) perform at Liverpool O2 Academy United Kingdom - Wednesday 7th September 2016

Barenaked Ladies, Ed Robertson, Kevin Hearn and Jim Creeggan
Barenaked Ladies, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson and Jim Creeggan
Barenaked Ladies and Kevin Hearn
Barenaked Ladies, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan and Tyler Stewart
Barenaked Ladies and Ed Robertson
Barenaked Ladies, Jim Creeggan and Tyler Stewart

Barenaked Ladies - BNL Rocks Red Rocks Album Review


For more than two decades Barenaked Ladies have been one of Canada's most interesting and occasionally accomplished musical exports. They're a band I discovered as a teenager and one that I checked in with pretty regularly in the years that followed, that is until the departure of Steven Page in 2009. In my eyes Page and Ed Robertson balanced each other out. In BNL's best moments Page explored topics like failed relationships and suicide, which were lightened in the most unusual ways by Robertson's comedic tendencies. When Page left I went too, not because I thought I'd dislike any new material or due to a deliberate boycott, but simply because it wouldn't feel like the same band anymore. Barenaked Ladies Rocks Red Rocks is the first time I've listened to a new record by the band since that point and it's a perfectly passable candy coloured re-interpretation of what I remembered.

Barenaked Ladies - BNL Rocks Red Rocks Album Review

This is actually BNL's fourth live album, which may seem a little odd for UK audiences who remember them primarily as a 'one hit wonder' for 'One Week'. However the band has much more to offer than just that one song and the set list here is a pretty good potted history. The more recent songs that I was unfamiliar with ('Odds Are' and 'Duct Tape Heart' in particular) and fun and poppy, perhaps better than I was expecting, but they do sit towards the more quirky end of the spectrum in the BNL back catalogue. The recording is well mixed and is a good representation of the band's live sound from what I can remember, although it's more concise than actually being there as many ad-lib moments, which are part of the charm of a Barenaked Ladies live show, will have been omitted here.

Indeed it's the few 'jokes' that Robertson tries to throw to the crowd that I probably have the biggest problem with. I'm not entirely sure why he states that anyone who doesn't sing along is a 'racist', nor why kids playing with matches is 'fun'.  Neither moment is funny, the jokes fall flat, and you get the feeling that Robertson is desperately trying to live up to the grandeur of the venue (something he alludes to later). If you're releasing a live album it should also be the best you have to offer. I'm slightly confused then why an ok version of Men At Work's 'Who Can It Be Now' with Colin Hay returning to the stage warrants a place on the record. It's a nice moment for the audience who were at the entire show, but feels a little out of context here. Equally the cover of Led Zep's 'Rock And Roll', one of the rare moments despite the album title that does actually rock here, feels like a bit of an anti-climax after 'If I had $1,000,000'. The show's been truncated to fit onto a CD, perhaps not including the whole encore would have led to a more satisfying album.

Continue reading: Barenaked Ladies - BNL Rocks Red Rocks Album Review

Barenaked Ladies, ABC and Ed Robertson Wednesday 4th April 2012 Barenaked Ladies frontman, Ed Robertson talks on his cellphone as he leaves ABC Kitchen restaurant in Manhattan.

Barenaked Ladies, Abc and Ed Robertson
Barenaked Ladies, Abc and Ed Robertson
Barenaked Ladies, Abc and Ed Robertson
Barenaked Ladies, Abc and Ed Robertson

Barenaked Ladies Friday 14th January 2011 NAMM 2011 'National Association of Music Merchants' Show - Day 2 Anaheim, California

Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies

Ed Robertson, Barenaked Ladies, Jim Creeggan and Tyler Stewart - Ed Robertson, Tyler Stewart and Jim Creeggan Toronto, Canada - Barenaked Ladies performing on stage at Massey Hall. Friday 26th November 2010

Ed Robertson, Barenaked Ladies, Jim Creeggan and Tyler Stewart
Ed Robertson, Barenaked Ladies, Jim Creeggan and Tyler Stewart
Ed Robertson and Barenaked Ladies
Ed Robertson, Barenaked Ladies and Tyler Stewart
Ed Robertson and Barenaked Ladies
Kevin Hearn, Barenaked Ladies, Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan and Tyler Stewart
Barenaked Ladies

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