In 1992, the Barenaked Ladies released Gordon. It was a unique sounding recording with many hit songs ("If I Had A Million Dollars", "Be My Yoko Ono" and "Brian Wilson just to name a few). It was big seller in Canada and they gained a lot of fans. In 1994, they released their second album Maybe You Should Drive. It was not nearly as successful as their previous effort, but it got them some recognition in the US (it reached #175 on the album charts). It did, however, have some memorable songs. These include "Jane" and "Alternative Girlfriend". Shortly after its release, Andrew Creeggan (piano, percussion, backup vocals) left the band because he was unhappy with the bands direction. He was replaced by Kevin Hearn.
The Barenaked Ladies are:
Ed Robertson (guitars, vocals, mandola)
Steven Page (vocals, guitars)
Andrew Creeggan (piano, percussion, background vocals)
Tyler Stewart (drums)
Jim Creeggan (bass, background vocals)
Track by track review:
This was the first single from this CD and it really stands out. This is a very pop-sounding song. It's a guitar driven song and a really good bass line. The vocals are really good and sang very well by Steven Page. There is a great use of background vocals throughout as well. A good song, nonetheless, but not the best on the CD.
This song is alternative rock in the verses, with a cool jazz feel during the chorus. This is another guitar driven song, with some cool piano parts. The lyrics on this song are also great but seem a more real than Jane. A very cool ending with just vocals and guitar that comes out of nowhere to add to a great song.
3) These Apples:
The main riff of this song sounds very similar to Jane, but the rest is very different. This is the first song on this CD where Ed Robertson sings. His vocals are really spot on, and really suit the country-like feel of the song. Not really anything else to say but good use of slide guitar.
4) You Will Be Waiting:
A quieter song with Steven Page on vocals again. Some great piano work by Andrew Creeggan is really the only musical thing that sticks out on this song. Some great vocals here, up the rating, but this song isn't anything special.
This is a quirky song, the type that BNL is best known for. The lyrics are pretty funny with some really good lines. [quote]"A is what Fonzie said, 'cause he was very cool.ďíAí is for arousal, you are giving me an arrectionĒ[quote]
The music to this song is very generic sounding. That is, until the interlude. Some interesting string arrangements by Andrew Creeggan to add a little more colour to this song. Very good song overall, and I recommend it.
6) Everything Old Is New Again:
This song is probably my favorite on this CD, and maybe my favorite BNL song. Itís got great lyrics (vocals as well), good bass and guitars. They even use some flutes and trumpets in the chorus to add to it. The piano is also really good and everything in this song just seems to compliment everything really well. Steven Page sings on most of the song, but Ed Robertson sings the interlude where they add some slide guitar to it as well.
7) Alternative Girlfriend:
This was the second single off of this CD and is one of BNLís more known songs. This is probably one of the heaviest songs on the CD. The vocal harmonies are beautiful on this song. I could give it a 5/5 based on that alone, but there is more to the song. The lyrics are really good (that seems to be a re-occurring theme on this CD) and like I said earlier the background vocals really compliment Steven Pageís lead vocals. The piano really goes well with the distorted guitar on this song which adds more to it.
8) Am I The Only One":
An acoustic guitar opens up this song, and is quickly followed with bass and Ed Robertsonís vocals. This is a very strange song to hear from BNL. That being said it is still very good. There are some more great string arrangements by Andrew Creeggan on this song. Not my favorite, but still a good song.
9) Tiny Little Song:
This is a very short song with just four lines. Another quirky song that adds some flavor to the CD. Itís completely done by Andrew Creeggan. Itís defiantly filler material, and I usually skip it.
10) Life, In A Nutshell:
An upbeat song that is very catchy. Itís a cool sounding song. Although itís not an official single, it has been played on the radio, at least where Iím from. The singing on this song is really good. Some good drumming by Tyler Stewart even though his drums are buried deep in the mix. That would be one of the problems I have with this CD.
11) The Wrong Man Convicted:
This is the longest song on the CD. The intro is creepy sounding and that theme continues thought. Some great piano work from Andrew Creeggan and good drumming, again, during the chorus from Tyler Stewart. Itís pretty good at some parts and at other parts itís not that great. Itís kind or hard to describe. I hate to say this, but I think Anne Murray could get away with singing this song. The lowest point on the CD for me.
12) Great Provider:
This is the last song on the CD and starts off really good with a cool jazz like beat from Tyler Stewart. Andrew Creegganís keyboard parts add to this the jazz feel, but the rest of the instruments and vocals arenít that jazzy. Still, it all fits together. The main guitar part reminds me of ďYou Donít Know What Itís LikeĒ by Everlast. A pretty good album closer to finish off this greatly underappreciated CD.
Pros and Cons:
+ Backup vocals are amazing.
+ Lyrics are really good from both Steven and Ed
+ The baselines really stick out and are really good.
- The drums are buried to deep in the mix on most of the CD.
Final rating: 4/5
Itís pretty good bit there are some low points which brings the rating down. If you are a BNL fan, and donít have I definitely recommend getting it.
One last thing:
Barenaked Ladies 1994 Playoff Billiards Tournament Standings:
Ed: Award of Excellence
Steven: Participation pin