Archive for the 'Children' Category

Album Snacktime – Barenaked Ladies

Posted by admin on 22nd June 2008

It’s not often you pick up an album to find over 20 songs, in this case for the latest release from the Barenaked Ladies (BNL) is 24 tracks. Upon delving a little deeper you can see why there are so many tracks, as the average track time is around 2 minutes, with some tracks just under a minute and eight, on or around the 3 minute mark. All is revealed when you discover that this is an album intended for kids. This is a fact that has slipped a few peoples notice, from the comments I read on iTunes. It’s funny to see reviews on the one hand criticise the album, but on the other note that this would make a good kids album. Mmmm, maybe it’s a good thing this is a kids album.

To be honest though, to say this is a kids album, is pretty shortsighted. Yes many of these tracks are intended for children and the subject matter bounces around all over the place. While some of the songs border on the infantile, it’s all held together beautifully and man some of these songs are catchy. Take the opening track “7 8 9”, which was my introduction to this album. This track has been featured quite extensively on CBC children’s television. With it’s play on words and simple melody, it’s a track I wasn’t able to get out of my head for days, after hearing it for the first time. “The Ninjas” is pure BNL, with it’s catchy melody and distinctive vocals.

It seems that lately, I’ve really begun to notice lyrics more and more. The opening line to “Raisins” really made me smirk in a way I haven’t since I was a kid :

“Raisins come from grapes. People come form Apes. I come from Canada”

The whole track follows in a similar vain and I couldn’t help but repeat the track again and again.

With so many tracks on the album, it would be sheer craziness to cover them all, suffice to say there are many that really tickled my fancy, but we won’t talk about that, this is a kids album after all. “7 8 9” and “Raisins” are particularly strong tracks, as are “I Can Sing”, “Humongous Tree”, “Bad Day” with it’s Gordon Lightfoot overtones, “Curious” and “Crazy ABCs” which is probably not the song your kids are going to use to learn their alphabet, but will surely turn them into smartarses, should they learn the lyrics by heart.

The album ends with “Here Come the Geese” and almost feels like a Muppet song, with it’s froggy vocal overtones. Trying to dissect this album on a song by song basis is totally pointless as everyone is going to get something different out of this album. The kids will love the basic, easy to remember songs, based of course on their age. The older kids and adults will all take something totally different from this album, but the things that’s most surprising is that this is an album anyone, of any age should enjoy.

Writing songs for children is no easy task. Writing songs for children, that children will actually enjoy is an art form all to itself. For this album, not only are the songs great, but it’s so apparent that BNL not only had great fun making this album, but also put into this album a lot of love.

Conclusion : Hard core BNL fans will probably either lap this up, or think the band have gone a bit nuts. Personally, while I’ve followed BNL over the years, I’m guilty in that I don’t own a single one of their albums (apart from this one of course), which is something I’d like to rectify, as this album has shown me a different side to the band and certainly renewed my interest in them. Fun with a capital F.U.N.

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