Quantcast
tagline2016wide
Monday, June 03 2013 22:12

Review: BARENAKED LADIES - GRINNING STREAK

Written by

Nearly ten years ago (it was October of 2003), I stood inside a dimly-lit ballroom at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas amongst a group of Musicland employees brought together for what would be (unbeknownst to them) one of their final Annual Meetings. The major crash of the music industry was looming just ahead, and if you asked them at the time, I'm sure that few (if any) would've predicted that the eventual bankruptcy, purchase, and elimination of their brand would come just three years later. As I stood there, Martini in-hand, the lights from the stage illuminated and the curtain dropped as the unannounced "surprise" performers for the night broke into their first song with the familiar lyrics... "It's been one week since you looked at me..."

In the decade since, the BARENAKED LADIES have experienced their own set of ups-and-downs, starting with a return to being "independent" artists just a year after the release of EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE, the very album that they were in Vegas to promote. The rest of the 2000s brought a foray into the world of kids and family music with SNACKTIME!, the departure of a founding member, and the writing of a theme song for a little show called THE BIG BANG THEORY.

bnlcoverThis week, the band celebrates their 25th Anniversary with the release of GRINNING STREAK - their first album for Vanguard Records, and second since becoming a quartet.

It's become cliche to call a band more "grown-up" or "mature," but GRINNING STREAK does present BARENAKED LADIES in a different light than their earlier works (admittedly, I missed 2010's ALL IN GOOD TIME), and that's to be expected for a band that's been rocking for a quarter century. The jangly, alt-rock that you expect is there - accented by a dose of electronic accompaniments that compliment the songs well without going over-the-top or pushing the band into that weird space where machine starts to take over for man (Radiohead, Muse, Darth Vader).

Watch: Boomerang Lyric Video [Note: An "official" music video has been released that features a non-album version/remix of the song]

While "Boomerang" may be the album's first single (albeit one recorded for an intended release last summer), it's easy to hear the potential for radio success in the album opener "Limits," the foot-stomping "Odds Are," or the one song not sung by Ed Robertson... "Daydreamin'," which finds Kevin Hearn stepping up to the mic for one of the album's most memorable cuts.

Still fun, but not as silly, GRINNING STREAK is a lot like comfort food - a tasty and familiar dish prepared a little bit differently than when you last had it.

4

The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.

www.facebook.com/therockfather

Does this Rock or Not? Share Your Comments Below!

blog comments powered by Disqus