Thursday, April 28, 2005

Barenaked Ladies - Born on a Pirate Ship

This was Barenaked Ladies' third album, released two years before the release of their breakaway hit, 'Stunt'.

I enjoyed the songs in this one. Lots of good stuff. No song in particular stands out, it is just a very well balanced compilation, with a few throwaway tracks. To give you an idea, here's a list of the songs I liked:

'Stomach vs. Heart' - Cute lyrics, good rhymes, sounds like the band had a lot of fun singing it. My favorite part is the faint chorus of "gimme a break!" during a pause in the middle of a verse. I think the song is about a lack of self-control or discipline.

'Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank' - Hehehe, very funny lyrics. It's about a farmer who happens to be a stalker to a famous movie star. "I tend the wheat field that makes your bread, I bind the sweet veal, pluck the hens that make your bed.... All of this corn I grow I grow it all for you, I took a hatchet to the radio I did it all for you. You could have written back, You could have said 'thank you'. I guess you've got better things, Betting things to do." I think the farmer committed murder or something.

'When I Fall' - This is my personal favorite Ed Robertson song. At first I thought it was a profound ballad on love, life, and family. But it turns out it's just a song about a window washer who's afraid of heights.

'The Old Apartment' - Another 'stalker' song. I guess Ed and Steve like writing about stalkers. Esssentially it's about a man who goes to visit his ex-wife/girlfriend's apartment: "Broke into the old apartment, This is where we used to live... Why did they pave the lawn? Why did they change the locks? Why did I have to break it. I only came here to talk." Grim, but funny.

'Break Your Heart' - This is a kick-ass ballad with a dramatic ending where Steven Page shouts at the top of his lungs. Very powerful and one of my favorite BNL songs. It's about a man who is too afraid to tell his partner he doesn't love her anymore, too chicken to end the relationship himself.

'Shoebox' - I often wonder why fans don't like this song. Good lyrics, good melody, catchy beat. I think it's about a man in a relationship with a much older woman.

At this stage of their careers, the band is still very immature. They don't sound like a commercial band at all (which can also be a good thing). 14 tracks in total, with a couple of not-so-great songs included. Still, I enjoyed this CD immensely. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars * * * *
Very enjoyable album. Thank you BNL!

1 comment:

roehl said...

"I guess Ed and Steve like writing about stalkers."

no wonder you love the barenaked ladies so much. you can relate to their songs. ;=)