Barenaked for the Holidays

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Part of the joy of listening to the Barenaked Ladies is not knowing whether a song will be serious or silly. The latter dominate Barenaked for the Holidays, the Canadian quintet's collection of seasonal originals and traditionals, but there's plenty of serious fun here, too. "Jingle Bells" opens the album on a melancholy note with a few jazzy piano chords and a solitary vocal, before turning into a thumping, ridiculous polka and throwing in that "Jingle bells, Batman smells" verse that naughty kids love. While the zippy, jokey "Elf's Lament" suggests that Santa's helpers may be disgruntled employees it's full of one-liners about illegal doping and worker rebellion, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Part of the joy of listening to the Barenaked Ladies is not knowing whether a song will be serious or silly. The latter dominate Barenaked for the Holidays, the Canadian quintet's collection of seasonal originals and traditionals, but there's plenty of serious fun here, too. "Jingle Bells" opens the album on a melancholy note with a few jazzy piano chords and a solitary vocal, before turning into a thumping, ridiculous polka and throwing in that "Jingle bells, Batman smells" verse that naughty kids love. While the zippy, jokey "Elf's Lament" suggests that Santa's helpers may be disgruntled employees it's full of one-liners about illegal doping and worker rebellion, "Snowman" laments the transience and loneliness of our frosty friends: It's heartfelt and mostly sincere, as is the mandolin-driven "Hanukkah Blessings." The all-male Ladies swing through a jazzy medley of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" and "We Three Kings" with help from real lady Sarah McLachlan, and they reprise "Green Christmas," their track from the soundtrack to the Dr. Seuss film adaptation The Grinch. The silliest moment of the mostly acoustic Barenaked for the Holidays is also one of its best: "Deck the Stills" replaces the words of "Deck the Halls" with various rearrangements of "Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young." It's absurd but irresistible.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's probably safe to say that fans of Barenaked Ladies have never found a holiday album to suit their tastes until now, when the notoriously quirky Canadian quintet released Barenaked for the Holidays. This will likely satisfy that portion of their audience however large or small it is that has wanted a holiday album delivered with that patented blend of jokiness and sentiment that's been the group's stock-in-trade. That may give the inaccurate impression that this album has been tossed off, which is hardly the case. The arrangements are nimble and largely clever, even when the group goes for an easy joke, as on the Casio-driven bossa nova instrumental revamp of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Admirably, the group doesn't rely solely on traditional carols, they contribute six originals to the mix; some, like "Green Christmas," are quite good, while others, like "Elf's Lament," are too jokey, but that may not bother the diehards all that much. Even more admirably, this is one of the few holiday albums that is pretty evenly divided between Christmas and Hanukkah songs, which isn't just nicely PC, but gives the album both musical and topical variety, making it a little more interesting and distinctive than the average holiday record. Still, whether you like the album or not boils down to this: do you find it funny when a slow, sincere version of "Jingle Bells" breaks into a jocular parody with the classic "Jingle bells/Batman smells/Robin laid an egg" lyric halfway through the song, and if you do, do you like the sentimental beginning as much as the silly conclusion? If so, Barenaked for the Holidays is for you.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's probably safe to say that fans of Barenaked Ladies have never found a holiday album to suit their tastes until now, when the notoriously quirky Canadian quintet released Barenaked for the Holidays. This will likely satisfy that portion of their audience (however large or small it is) that has wanted a holiday album delivered with that patented blend of jokiness and sentiment that's been the group's stock-in-trade. That may give the inaccurate impression that this album has been tossed off, which is hardly the case. The arrangements are nimble and largely clever, even when the group goes for an easy joke, as on the Casio-driven bossa nova instrumental revamp of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Admirably, the group doesn't rely solely on traditional carols, they contribute six originals to the mix; some, like "Green Christmas," are quite good, while others, like "Elf's Lament," are too jokey, but that may not bother the diehards all that much. Even more admirably, this is one of the few holiday albums that is pretty evenly divided between Christmas and Hanukkah songs, which isn't just nicely PC, but gives the album both musical and topical variety, making it a little more interesting and distinctive than the average holiday record. Still, whether you like the album or not boils down to this: do you find it funny when a slow, sincere version of "Jingle Bells" breaks into a jocular parody with the classic "Jingle bells/Batman smells/Robin laid an egg" lyric halfway through the song? And if you do, do you like the sentimental beginning as much as the silly conclusion? If so, Barenaked for the Holidays is for you.

It's probably safe to say that fans of Barenaked Ladies have never found a holiday album to suit their tastes until now, when the notoriously quirky Canadian quintet released Barenaked for the Holidays. This will likely satisfy that portion of their audience (however large or small it is) that has wanted a holiday album delivered with that patented blend of jokiness and sentiment that's been the group's stock-in-trade. That may give the inaccurate impression that this album has been tossed off, which is hardly the case. The arrangements are nimble and largely clever, even when the group goes for an easy joke, as on the Casio-driven bossa nova instrumental revamp of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Admirably, the group doesn't rely solely on traditional carols, they contribute six originals to the mix; some, like "Green Christmas," are quite good, while others, like "Elf's Lament," are too jokey, but that may not bother the diehards all that much. Even more admirably, this is one of the few holiday albums that is pretty evenly divided between Christmas and Hanukkah songs, which isn't just nicely PC, but gives the album both musical and topical variety, making it a little more interesting and distinctive than the average holiday record. Still, whether you like the album or not boils down to this: do you find it funny when a slow, sincere version of "Jingle Bells" breaks into a jocular parody with the classic "Jingle bells/Batman smells/Robin laid an egg" lyric halfway through the song? And if you do, do you like the sentimental beginning as much as the silly conclusion? If so, Barenaked for the Holidays is for you.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/28/2010
  • Label: Raisin Records
  • UPC: 857281002007
  • Catalog Number: 10020
  • Sales rank: 145,747

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Barenaked Ladies Primary Artist
Sarah McLachlan Vocals
Tyler Stewart Percussion, Drums, Vocals, Group Member
Jim Creeggan Electric Guitar, Vocals, Double Bass, Group Member
Steven Page Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Kevin Hearn Mandolin, Piano, Accordion, Keyboards, Vocals, Vibes, Group Member
Michael Bublé Vocals
Kelly Maureen McKenna Acoustic Guitar
Ed Robertson Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Technical Credits
Leroy Anderson Composer
Bob Geldof Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Midge Ure Composer
Barenaked Ladies Arranger
Jeremy Darby Engineer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Mitchell Parish Composer
Peter J. Wilhousky Composer
John Rummen Artwork
Don Garbutt Digital Editing
Traditional Composer
Mykola Leontovych Composer
S. E. Goldfarb Composer
John D. Marks Composer
S. S. Grossman Composer
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