Barenaked Ladies - Fake Nudes Album Review

Story posted November 27, 2017 in Arts & Entertainment by Owen Paiva .

Barenaked Ladies, the Canadian alternative group famous for their unique indie and comedic style, released their 12th studio album. The band, helmed by Ed Robertson, has kept their comedic style up on Fake Nudes. This album sounds very reminiscent of the band’s 2013 release Grinning Streak, which was a good modernization of the band’s comedic, indie sound.

The instrumentals are very good on this album, with an indie rock vibe with a bit of country influence thrown in for style. This instrumentals are very catchy and easy to listen to. The guitar tends to be very acoustic and this enhances the experience. The simplistic, yet charming style really adds this feel of the band sitting around a bonfire playing these songs. “Canada Dry” and “Invisible Fence” are two songs that perfectly embody the album’s primary instrumental style. Some have a bit more pop flair, while others are more bluegrass, but this consistent, easy listening style is a very pleasant staple of the album. Barenaked Ladies sometimes overlap genres between alternative, indie, folk and college rock and this album’s instrumentals are a perfect blend of all those genres and allow the band to keep carving out their niche in the music industry.

The theme of love and relationships is ever present, with some happy relationships pictured like in “You + Me Vs The World” or some break ups or bad romances in the two songs previously mentioned. “Canada Dry” humorously states that Ed’s partner left him “high / Canada Dry” which is a play on words about the ginger ale and that she left him alone. The album manages to use clever wordplay and different takes on relationships to spice up the message and themes. “Dusty Rooms” is about bad memories and “Looking Up” is a very happy song about things being good and how the band and performing makes Ed happy.

However, some of these songs are ones that can really only be listened to in the right mood. This album can be a long listen if listened to in one sitting. The sound can get a tad repetitive at times and if someone does not really care for the band’s unique sound, this album does not do anything to cater to them. There are a handful of unique songs that can aid the listener in staving off the feelings of repetitiveness that may pop up.

The last few songs in the album really spice up the concept and are easily the best off of the album. There are some undertones of Simon and Garfunkel on a couple of songs. “Flying Dreams” and “Bag of Bones” in which Ed’s singing and the acoustic guitar sound like they were pulled out of the movie “The Graduate,” which most of the more famous Simon and Garfunkel songs are a part of.

This album is unique compared to the other alternative albums this year, with not too big of an older influence since really only a couple of songs could have the argument made for them. Also, there is not an overly pop styled sound with pop elements more for accents.

Overall, Fake Nudes is a standard album for Barenaked Ladies, which is good to see, especially with a lot of artists heading away from a more comedic style. There are a few problems with the sometimes repetitive sound of a few songs, but this is a very solid release from Barenaked Ladies and the band hopefully will continue to do what they do best: be a stylistic blend of genres in a unique way.

Rating: 7/10

 

Owen Paiva is a freshman majoring in film/video. To contact him, email owenpaiva@sbcglobal.net.