Barenaked Ladies the little indie band that could have returned to self-rule with their own label, Desperation Records, and their most cohesive album since the quadruple-platinum Stunt. Barenaked Ladies Are Me still exudes the band's sense of fun while musically and lyrically demonstrating a maturity you'd expect from guys who have played together forever. With one of rock's most devoted fanbases, Barenaked Ladies goes D.I.Y. with Barenaked Ladies Are Me.
15+ years after their winsome indie debut, Canada's Barenaked Ladies come full circle here, dropping off the major label merry-go-round to re-embrace a DYI sensibility with typically breezy aplomb. But, as this collection's strong songs and crisp production attest, that hardly means the band didn't learn a thing or three during its successful tenure in the majors. The gorgeous melancholy of "Adrift" is apt preamble to a collection that's more thematically balanced and graced by an expansive sense of artistic democracy. While mainstays Steven Page and Ed Robertson contribute such patently torqued, BNL-mirthful fare as "Bank Job," "Bull in a China Shop," "Rule the World With Love" and "Wind It Up," there's a growing maturity and sense of reflection in their work as well, as evidenced by Page confessing his own emotional disconnection via the evocative, banjo-accordion lament "Everything Had Changed." But it's the strong, equally literate contributions of fellow band members Jim Creeggan ("Peterborough & the Kawathas") and Kevin Hearn ("Sound of Your Voice," "Vanishing") that truly expand BNL's horizons at a career juncture when many bands are all too happy to rest on their laurels or hew religiously to the formula that garnered them. --Jerry McCulley