Here’s a very pretty song from Barenaked Ladies’ debut album, Gordon. The lovely acoustic guitar and impressive vocal harmonies mask the fact that it appears to be sung from the perspective of either a murderer, a perpetrator of domestic violence or both.
The opening line about tracing a likeness of the woman’s body suggests a chalk outline at a crime scene, supporting the murder interpretation. The line “I regret every time I raised my voice” in the final verse implies that these two are in a relationship. My take is that he finally went too far and his abuse resulted in her death.
After a week featuring tracks by the likes of Nick Jonas, One Direction and Shawn Mendes, today’s song, from Barenaked Ladies’ 1992 debut Gordon, feels appropriate.
Boy bands are certainly an easy target, but BNL has some fun with the topic.
While boy bands have been around since The Monkees, their resurgence really came in the 90s with Backstreet Boys and NSYNC.
‘Hello City’ is the first song on Gordon, the first Barenaked Ladies album, and it kicks off their professional career in what would become their trademark smart, funny fashion.
A dig at Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the Canadian band played an early unsuccessful gig, this song is one of the most enjoyable on that excellent album.
Barenaked Ladies, the final act of last week’s concert was, based on the crowd’s reaction, clearly the headliner. I would have predicted that Ben Folds Five had just as large and fervent a fan following, but I guess that’s me looking through my own filter.
BNL put on a fabulous show filled with unexpected, spontaneous pleasures. Lots of jokes, lots of improvisation. But I couldn’t help but feel sad that longtime lead singer/songwriter Steven Page is no longer with the band.
All the artists I’ve featured in theme weeks since I started them have achieved a level of critical respect worthy of their talents. But this week I’m focusing on a band that strikes me as woefully under appreciated — Barenaked Ladies.
Perhaps it’s the name. Is it difficult to take a group seriously with a name like that? Or perhaps it’s that they are not afraid to be funny and in the process are considered by some as a bit of a novelty act. Or perhaps this is all in my head and they receive critical acclaim commensurate with their talents but I’ve just missed it.
Regardless, I believe this band is extremely special and I’m happy to give them their due this week.