Stunt – Barenaked Ladies

Stunt

Barenaked Ladies

1998

Reprise

Ah yes, the Barenaked Ladies… ridiculous lyrics, fun music, and an overall good time.  And of course, Stunt had a few hits on it, which never hurts either.  This was the first album I picked up from them, obviously from the first track, which everybody and their mother knew.  It instantly became one of my favorite albums, and still is up there on my list, although now, Everything To Everyone by BnL (that’s Barenaked Ladies… remember that, I’ll use it a lot cause I’m lazy) is their best offering, in my opinion.

So now onto what matters, the songs.  What better way to start off than the huge hit single.  Everyone either knew every lyric, couldn’t understand what the hell they were saying, or was under a goddamn rock.  “One Week” is what I’m talking about of course.  This song pretty much sums up what I expect from BnL on every album.  Maybe because it was my gateway song to them, but it seems like most of their songs have an upbeat, ridiculous sound to them.  I used to (and still do) know every single lyric to this song.  In fact, the only part that ever tripped me up was ‘gotta get a set of better clubs, gotta find the kind with tiny nubs’.  I still can’t get that exactly right…

So enough about that, onto “It’s All Been Done”.  I still occasionally hear this song on the radio (what tiny, tiny amount I listen to it).  Another cool song, albeit different than the preceding track.  A bunch of stories about how everything with love and romance has been done, whether today, in the 13th century, or during the Roman empire.  Or maybe it’s about how love can persevere for that long? I dunno, but it’s a damn good song.

The album slows down a lot for the next track, “Light Up My Room”.  I never could get into this song until recently.  Something about it put me off, but now I think it’s pretty good, and not a low point like I had previously thought.  The guitar kicks in pretty bad-assedly at times, and it’s just a mellow, flowy song.

After that, the album keeps a slightly lower tone, with “I’ll Be That Girl”.  This song has some really dark undertones, which is weird.  It seems like it’s either about a girl committing suicide, what with the talk of hanging, and there being no tomorrow.  It’s almost like the girl wants the attention of a guy, and would attempt suicide as a way to get the attention.  Sadly, this could very well be a reality for some people.  Still a good song though.

“Leave” is up next, and thankfully it’s more upbeat.  There’s some very cool instrumental work in this song, some of it more subtle than others.  And the do-do-do’s as a chorus is brilliant; it flows so well with the rest of the song.  Also, harmonies! Hell yeah!  And the solo is awesome too!  This song is so good, and was definitely one of the first songs besides the hits I got attached to from the album.

“Alcohol”, ‘my permanent accessory’.  This song possesses the best qualities of BnL’s awesomeness:  ridiculous lyrics, upbeat, up-tempo music, and brilliant vocals.  So a song about discovering how awesome life is when drunk… not much more to say here, other than great keyboard work to go along with the great vocals that always come from BnL.

“Call And Answer” slows it down again, but doesn’t slack on the vocals, or anything for that matter.  A tame, simple drum beat, peaceful guitar, soothing vocals, it’s another mellow masterpiece here. (See what I did there with alliteration?) The one problem with this song is the length… it’s almost six minutes long, and the fact that it’s a slow song seems to make it longer.  It still isn’t a bad song, but it also isn’t as good as “Alcohol” or “One Week”.  Oh yeah, and if the vocals after about the four minute mark don’t sell you on Ed and Steve’s vocal ability, you’re seriously insane.

“In The Car” is a song of young love leaving someone unfulfilled.  The guy because he couldn’t assert his insertion, and the girl because the guy left for good.  Also, they were searching for something inside themselves, and instead “found” each other, if you know what I mean (Do you know what I mean?).  Oh and the guy had a wet dream about the girl’s mom, and never told her.  Seriously, the song is weird, but still good.

“Never Is Enough” is more classic BnL:  strange lyrics, and upbeat music.  It’s all about the stuff you don’t want to do with your life, and saying that never doing them is doing them enough for you.  It’s something everyone can connect with.  Some of the stuff they talk about is a little silly, but who the hell cares, that’s what you should be ready for with these guys.

“Who Needs Sleep?” is pretty much the first song I got addicted to after “One Week”.  Yet more ridiculousness here, with some cool sound effects in the percussion beat.  Anybody who has ever had trouble sleeping (yes, that includes you there) can connect with this song.  Also, there’s more talk about contrast in relationships.  The chorus is so awesome, with the whole band joining.  And a man who has been awake wince WW2? That line still kills me… I don’t know where the hell they got that from.  Definite candidate for best song on the album, with “One Week” and “Alcohol”.  Oh and find the secret (not so secret) hulla hulla hulla.  It’s great.

“Told You So”  combines some ridiculous lyrics with some serious ones.  A tough thing to do, but BnL does it really well.  The guitar and bass weave together in a pretty cool way here.  I seriously can’t figure out what this song is about… Some lyrics make me think it’s about holding grudges, some make me think it’s about being arrogant, some make me think it’s about being stubborn.  Solid song nonetheless, and definitely a good listen.

Weird percussions again? But of course! “Some Fantastic (Ivory and Ivory)” is up next and I dunno where they got the parenthetical part of the title from, perhaps from two similar people being together?  Seriously, though, there’s some stuff I wish I could do in this song.  For example, making a machine to eliminate all the people in front of you in line or making a satellite and naming it after someone.  Also, there’s one specific part that sounds kinda tame, but gets worse as it goes on: ‘Someday I will work with animals’ Okay, not too bad… ‘All the tests I’m gonna do’ Okay, where is this going, could be bad or good… ‘and when it’s done I’ll boil em down for glue’ Woah, wait what?  I’ll leave this song with that thought.

The album closer, “When You Dream” is kinda upsetting.  I never could get into this song, and I still can’t.  It’s not the type of song I expect from BnL, and while they do a good job, it’s just not for me.  Personally, it’s the low point of the album.  That’s why I stop listening after the previous song.

So that’s all for Stuntby Barenaked Ladies.  Overall, I’d rate this album a 7.5/10, because there’s too many songs that turn me off too much, and deviate from what I want to hear from BnL.  If you’re looking to get into these guys, give this a listen, then listen to Everything to Everyone.  Those are their two best albums, and they give the best overall picture of their whole spectrum of music.

Buy This Album

Official Site

Last.fm Page

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2 Responses to “Stunt – Barenaked Ladies”

  1. Ivory and Ivory is a comedic reference to “Ebony and Ivory” by Paul McCartney. It’s supposed to describe the then lead singers Ed and Steve (both were white boys).

    I spent a long time loving those Ladies. :)

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