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music reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Stunt

Artist: Barenaked Ladies
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: July 1998
Note(s): "One Week" was nominated for the 1999 Grammy for Best Pop Performance

Review by LarryG
2 stars out of 4

Wildly popular in their native Canada, until recently Barenaked Ladies were unable to make much of a dent in the U.S. They came across as nice guys and good musicians but seemed a little Canadian, too mild and polite. So One Week, the brash, cocky smash hit from Stunt, came as a very pleasant surprise. It was one of the best singles of the year. It's a great dance song, white rap that's not embarrassing, and has a great groove. One of the fun games of last summer was trying to decipher the smart, goofy lightning fast lyrics with their allusions to everything from LeAnn Rimes to Kurasawa. Unfortunately, the rest of the album isn't the same bold departure. It's All Been Done is an extremely likeable midtempo rocker about time travel. But the rest of the record is pleasant but kind of boring. Call and Answer is a very sweet ballad with vocalist Steven Page offering to do what it takes to make a relationship work but its subdued tone wears thin over six minutes. Light Up My Room and Leave are inoffensive but barely leave an impression. Alcohol is a decent rocker but is hardly ground breaking lyrically or musically. Who Needs Sleep? and Never Is Enough and enjoyable midtempo songs with smart, sarcastic lyrics but their charms are fairly modest. Stunt is never bad and is usually quite good but record buyers should be warned that the pleasures of the rest of Stunt are much more subtle than on One Week.

Reader Feedback

I have read several of larry G.'s reviews and it seem to me that he thinks that anything inoffensive is bad. He insults this album for not being "groundbreaking" but gives squeeze a 5 of 5 for continuing to write catchy pop lyrics.    --Jesse



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