Music » CD Reviews

CD Review: Barenaked Ladies

All in Good Time (Raisin'/ EMI)

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Ask any chef, and he will tell you the best way to adapt a recipe is to replace an ingredient, not delete it. But apparently no one passed on that word to Barenaked Ladies, who decided to continue as a quartet after founding co-frontman/songwriter Steven Page left last year. How does Page's absence impact the freshly downsized BNL on All in Good Time, their first foursome outing? Not much.

All in Good Time finds BNL's remaining members — guitarist Ed Robertson, keyboardist-guitarist Kevin Hearn, bassist Jim Creeggan and drummer Tyler Stewart — stepping up their game to compensate for Page's loss. The album's first single, "You Run Away," could be interpreted as the band's feelings about Page's departure, while the smooth, soulful pop of "Summertime" is R&B with indie-rock bite. "Another Heartbreak" is big rock balladry, followed by BNL's goofy pop-rap schtick in "Four Seconds," a Teutonic carnival with a Kurt Weill soundtrack and an indie-rock sensibility. "Jerome" is quirky tango-pop, "I Have Learned" combines classic rock with quiet power and "Watching the Northern Lights" closes the album in a gently insistent manner. Overall, there's increased emphasis on melodicism that indicates Barenaked Ladies have successfully turned the Page. Brian Baker

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