I’m gonna be ending my 2013 year by reviewing the latest albums from my two most favourite bands of all time. Let’s take a listen to the Barenaked Ladies’ 2013 release Grinning Streak. Released in June and debuting at #10 on the US Billboard charts, this is their 11th studio album proper and their 2nd since singer/guitarist/songwriter Steven Page left the band back in 2009 (I’m still not over that). It is also the band’s first album on their new record label, Vanguard. The first single, Boomerang was recorded in a separate session produced by Gavin Brown in May 2012, initially for release that summer.
The album starts with Limits a song about taking a breather, taking a look at what has happened so far and knowing your limitations despite doing your best and giving it a sincere go. Boomerang is about coming back to the one who holds your heart and despite everything else and all the travails and tribulations, you come back to the one you love. I’m unsure of what the song Off His Head is all about, although I like the lyrics. I’m guessing it’s about being a parent and being faced with various situations that is out your control and being more affected because it’s not happening to you but to another human being that you love unconditionally. Gonna Walk is a song about being in love and chasing the object of your affection and not quitting until love has been achieved.
Odds Are is one of my favourite songs of BNL and one of my favourites of all time. The song is so catchy and lyrically thought provoking and yet simple enough to understand and the music lifts my spirits – just like a lot of their songs tends to do! Positivity and hope is sprayed throughout this song and the odds are in your favour that you will find the love of your life and things will go good for you and it resonates with me a lot. A little bit antagonistic and a lot about standing your ground and fighting when you are attacked is Keepin’ It Real. I know Ed Robertson (singer/guitarist/lyricist) is an atheist and this verse perfectly fits:
“What’s the point in wishing there was somewhere to go
If when you get there, you can’t let anyone know
When my time comes, I won’t be leaving this Earth
And what I’ve done for people will determine my worth”
Saying you’re sorry is hard and to a loved one making up is hard which is what the song Give It To You is all about. Talk about lyrics that let on that you are an atheist – how’s this verse from Best Damn Friend:
Talk was cheap
‘Till I started talking to professionals
Not my first leap,
This atheist could have used confessional
Sown, so reap,
Allow me to lead you in devotional
While you weep,
Imagine the man whose more emotional.
Alright, Did I Say That Out Loud is a realization of love. Daydreamin’ is about – what else day dreams? And about wanting to make those day dreams a reality and showing the naysayers that they were wrong. Smile is about not being so serious and not forgetting the innocence of youth. Crawl is comparing the crawl of a baby to learning about life and making a sincere effort about it. We have 3 bonus tracks in this version of the album – Blacking Out, Fog Of Writing & Who Knew that add to the excellently received album both publicly & by critics. I love this album.