Detour De Force

Barenaked Ladies

Raisin’ Records, 2021

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Well, here we are with another Barenaked Ladies record. I haven’t been a fan of anything they’ve done since at least 2010, but I figured I’d give them benefit of the doubt. It’s been longer between records than they’ve done in a while and I thought things might be different this time. Their last album, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Fake Nudes, landed with a thud in America and became their first since their debut not to chart here. That’s really saying a lot, so in a sense, there’s a lot riding on this record. Does it live up?

The answer is no; they still are trying to write songs like it’s 2003. “Flip” is the worst example. It’s one of their worst singles and it’s also the opening track, which is not a great way to start a record. This band really suffered when Steven Page packed up and left. They’ve been struggling ever since, bringing in different songwriters and sometimes having four singers throughout the record. “Good Life” is a disaster where fifty-something white guys try to rap again. By contrast, “New Disaster” is above average and is quite possibly one of the best tracks here.

I’m just gonna say it: Anytime Kevin Hearn or Jim Creegan take the mic, I skip it. Hearn can’t sing to save his life and the songs are trash either way. “Big Back Yard” is one of those songs that don’t need to be here. Ed Robertson’s “Roll Out” is horrible and ludicrous. “God Forbid,” on the other hand, is almost lovely and shows that BNL can still write quality material when they really want to.

This band probably could’ve stopped recording about three albums ago and been fine touring the nostalgia circuit. Instead, they keep coming back with records that perform worse and worse and wind up in the bargain bin. Unfortunately, this is another example.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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