Thursday, June 27, 2019

New Music Revue: Barenaked Ladies get average with new EP

June 7, 2019 by Fred Cameron, contributing writer

Barenaked Ladies
Fake Nudes: Naked
(Raisin’ Records)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since the Barenaked Ladies parted ways with vocalist/guitarist Steven Page. But the legendary Canadian group is back with a digital EP follow-up to their 15th studio album (and fourth since Page’s departure), 2017’s Fake Nudes.Fake Nudes: Nakedfeatures eight songs from Fake Nudes arranged acoustically.

Seemingly designed not to offend, the Ladies have become a caricature that is simply there. As always, the songs are catchy, but they are also, for the most part, forgettable. Campfire sing-along “Canada Dry” will likely make its way into a BNL box set some day, and “We Took the Night,” which features bassist Jim Creeggan on lead vocals, is worth a second—and third—listen. 

The Ladies have sold over 15 million albums and collected eight Junos in the process, but it seems safe to call that history. The band with its current lineup is totally different without Page’s voice pushing things in different directions. They are all great musicians, and guitarist/vocalist Ed Robertson’s unmistakable voice is present throughout, but this EP is rather pedestrian. “Average” has been redefined.

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