Saturday, July 14, 2012

Maroon (by Barenaked Ladies)

In looking over the various posts I've had so far, I noticed there was not a lot of music, which is really odd because generally I listen to music much more than I read books and watch movies or TV.  I know in part it is because generally when I listen to music, I listen to my iPhone on shuffle or on a playlist of random songs and that doesn't really lend itself to grading (and therefore to posts).  So, I decided to make a conscious effort to listen to whole CD's.*

Maroon: This was the fifth album of the Barenaked Ladies and (in my opinion) anyway is the last of what was their best several CD's.  They really started to hit their stride with Born on a Pirate Ship.  Then came Stunt and then Maroon.

Now I'm not saying that they didn't have any good stuff after that, **  but as a whole the albums don't really measure up.  Which brings me (finally) to the first of two things I wanted to say in this post.

I don't understand why people are often so keen to not let themselves be identified by their success.  To explain, as I understand it, the guys in BNL felt like people were looking at them like they were the "Clowns of Rock and Roll"*** and so after Maroon they decided to try and make "more serious" music.


In the space of three albums**** they went from not quite completely obscure Canadian band to impossibly huge***** super popular band.  What's wrong with that, even if it is because people know you for writing quirky songs?  I love the BNL albums from that time and anyone who really likes the band enough to listen to whole albums (and not just the top radio songs) will see that you aren't just about clowning around.  And the people who don't listen to the albums now aren't going to start if you suddenly make them serious.

And it isn't just musicians who do this.  Actors will also suddenly quit off a popular hit show because they don't want people to think they are just that one character or because they think people love them so much they will flock to second or third tier movies they get cast in.******

My point is why kill the goose that's laying golden eggs?  Okay yes in this metaphor you are a goose pooping, but it is gold poop!

The second thing this album brings up is me making fun of people who review albums.*******  I remember when Maroon came out and I was either reading or listening to a review and they said something along the lines of, "BNL once again shows that they are able to take disparate images and weave them together."  To cite proof of that the reviewer brought up this series of lines.

Got a big chip.
You want a fat lip?
How 'bout a mouth full of Chiclets

Seriously?  Those are lines that have nothing to do with each other?  Did you bother to think at all before you wrote this review?  I don't think you did.

If I have somehow offended the person who wrote the review let me just say that I do not apologize.  If you'd like, I'll knock the chip off of your shoulder and punch you in the mouth.  If I did you might lose some teeth and gosh loose teeth are small white rectangles.  A lot like Chiclets, wouldn't you say?********

Anyway, the album is great.  I recommend Humour of the Situation as a song you probably haven't heard before but is classic BNL goodness.  If there is any song that I don't like 100% it is the bonus track "Hidden Sun".  It's kind of slow and depressing, but it is a fitting cool down after the activity of the rest of the album.

Maroon: A

* - Hopefully that doesn't make you sad.
** - I like BNL a lot and I own every album. (Hang on, let me check to make sure that isn't a lie.)  Okay, except for a rarities CD I'm telling the truth.  (btw, this confirmation accomplished with the power of
*** - I may be misremembering the exact phrase I heard in one of their interviews, but that was the gist of it.
**** - Really in the space of two albums (Born on a Pirate Ship and Stunt).
***** - In a cultural consciousness sense and not necessarily a monetary one.
****** - Shelley Long, Anthony Edwards and Eric La Salle to name three off of the top of my head.  (Of course, George Clooney is laughing at me right now.)  And I bet most of the cast of Friends is thinking that a new TV show called "Still Friends" or "Friends Again" is sounding pretty good right now.
******* - Say Mr. B isn't that you just now?  (Hush.)
******** - Apparently I've been carrying around a bit of hostility for twelve years or so.


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