Purge

Bif Naked

Lava Records, 2001

http://www.bifnaked.com

REVIEW BY: Herb Hill

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/07/2002

As a general rule I spend considerable time happily stuck in a mid-70's prog rock box. So how does someone a little more current pull me out of my self induced musical slumber?

Well, you gotta get naked. Bif Naked that is Someone with talent and something to say will always get my attention; and the intriguing Ms. Naked has both.

Based in Vancouver B.C. Canada (wedged in between Alaska and the rest of the Excited States) here is a female Rocker with her own record label whose name, "Her Royal Majesty's Records", accurately conveys Bifs musical take on her rightful place in her universe. Self esteem is not something that Ms. Naked seems to have a problem with.

After spending most of the early 90's working with various punk bands and finding that musically limiting (apparently they wouldn't let her sing about her period... go figure!?) she moved into solo mode in 1994. Purge, released in Canada in September of 2001, is her latest venture. An eclectic mix of slick power rock entrees peppered with a few lighter (...think Lisa Loeb meets Joan Jett...) tunes. Ms. Naked is quite obviously aiming for a much more mainstream style. Add in a couple of very well done ballads which employ a much softer musical style and this CD pretty much covers all the bases.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

At the center of this musical pizza is the rockin' "I Love Myself Today". A true grrrl power anthem that you can use to pull your teenage daughter out of the slimy clutches of Britney and the other pre-fab clones; or use it to bolster her crushed ego (teenage boys being 99.94% pond scum it is only a matter of time before she HAS a crushed ego). The production values are top notch and Bif puts her voice to the test, moving from conversational tone to a gravelly, throat ripping roar. Basically an "I don't need your crap anymore!" scream at the male gender, this song is fairly indicative of the general feel of the whole cd. One wonders what emotional sledge hammer has pummeled this much anger from her slight, if well muscled, form.

Early fans of this punk/power/pop combination may be wondering if Bif has compromised her musical style on the alter of mainstream acceptance ($$$$). It's a personal call but my opinion would be that yes she has, but there is a fine line between compromise and growth. There will be some gnashing of teeth and mumbled whispers of sellout and the re-mixed version of "I Love Myself Today" is best left unreviewed.... but the rest of the cd is a powerful blast of well controlled high energy vocals coupled with some substantial bass and guitar work. The cd grows on you. There is substance in the lyrics and feeling in the art that is Bifs music. At least it begins to make amends for Canada inflicting Nelly Furtado on the States. We are really dreadfully sorry about that and if you send her back up here we will try to keep her from getting out again.

The second single released from this CD up here in the Great White North is "Leader". Slightly more of a return to a 'punk' style, this is still a Rock tune and daughter number one thinks it's an even more rockin' tune than "I Love Myself Today". Could be... although the very pop oriented "Tango Shoes" might have been a better choice for a continued assault on the mainstream media; it's got more hooks in it than a bass on the first day of fishing season.

The future looks bright for Ms. Naked, she's cool, she's calm, she's gonna be ok.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2002 Herb Hill and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Lava Records, and is used for informational purposes only.