Recording session teleased on their own label, Desperation Records, BNL are looking to bring as much music as possible to their fans, in any and all ways currently possible. Are Me may have held back favorites (and future BNL classics) such as 'Angry People,' 'Down To Earth' and 'Maybe Not,' but this collection is filled with all the BNL fans could ever want. Look forward to more remixes from the Are Men session, and to opportunities for fans to send creative content from which Barenaked Ladies will assemble all new and exciting assets!
Barenaked Ladies Are Men
is a companion disc to the predecessor, Barenaked Ladies Are Me
. Although recorded during the same studio sessions, the discs were released five months apart. Are Me
is the quieter of the two, while Are Men
could be described as the feistier, noisier twin brother. Given their adult contemporary history, the Ladies's version of 'feisty' is hardly a venture into death metal, however Are Men
contains an evolutionary quality that may well bring new fans into the fold. Nearly two decades into their career, the lads' growth can in part be measured by a handful of increasingly layered soundscapes ("Serendipity," "Another Spin") that bear a slight resemblance to the harmonies that the Beach Boys were penning around the time of their Pet Sounds
release. The disc's biggest surprise is the politically cutting "Fun & Games," written from the perspective of a world leader assessing the war. "There's no need to draft them/you could hear us laugh then/the poor and black all need the room and board" sings Ed Robertson, as a New Orleans-style jazz band poignantly encircles the vocals. "One and Only" is a lush track that combines the harmonies a la Crosby, Stills, and Nash with a Foo Fighters-style chorus. Longtime fans can rest easy, however knowing that other tracks ("Running out of Ink," "Half a Heart") are done in that straight-up, traditional Barenaked style that fuses catchy pop melodies with clever lyrics. --Denise Sheppard