Maroon

Maroon

4.3 8
by Barenaked Ladies
     
 

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For their sixth album, Barenaked Ladies fuse their impressive pop sensibilities with darker subject matter fueled by keyboardist Kevin Hearn's successful bout with leukemia. Helmed by uber-producer Don Was, Maroon finds BNL singing about such foreboding topics as touring countries torn by political strife ("Helicopters") and the thoughts of a car crash victim (See more details below

Overview

For their sixth album, Barenaked Ladies fuse their impressive pop sensibilities with darker subject matter fueled by keyboardist Kevin Hearn's successful bout with leukemia. Helmed by uber-producer Don Was, Maroon finds BNL singing about such foreboding topics as touring countries torn by political strife ("Helicopters") and the thoughts of a car crash victim ("Tonight Is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel"). But rather than bog everything down with somber arrangements, the Canadian quintet instead go for the jugular with perfect songcraft driven by undeniable hooks. So even though they might be singing about relationships that are either headed south ("Too Little Too Late") or unrealized ("Conventioneers"), the Ladies do it with an exuberance that helps sweeten some of the bitterness. Far from being a total gloomfest, Maroon has plenty of upbeat pop moments such as the don't-take-yourself-so-seriously anthem "The Humour of the Situation" and the infectious optimism of "Falling for the First Time," where runaway piano, chiming guitars, and spot-on harmonies soar to a melodic high. An added bonus is the secret track "Hidden Sun," an ethereal piano-driven song about internal strength that sounds like something They Might Be Giants might have written in a serious moment.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - MacKenzie Wilson
Canada's favorite musical comics the Barenaked Ladies didn't get distressed by the mainstream success of their fifth album, 1998's Stunt. The single "One Week" catapulted the five-piece into the homes of TRL diehards and their self-defined cheeky pop sound captured pop music at its finest. They had only been crafting their freewheeling musical perfection since their inception in the late '80s, so the Barenaked Ladies were about due. Two years later, the boys joined forces with producer Don Was (Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Iggy Pop, Rolling Stones) and delivered yet another merry-making batch of pop songs on Maroon. Ed Robertson and Steven Page split vocal duties and their sparkling honesty of musicianship and friendship once again makes for a spherical delight of humor and grandeur. Barenaked Ladies might not have been distracted by their previous accolades, but Maroon hints at the band's hesitation to refrain from repetition. The lyrical rhymes are typically amusing and the musicianship is colorful and quirky, but first single "Pinch Me" doesn't feel entirely comfortable. A conservative BNL listener would be able to catch the trickling acoustics and thumping basslines, but its head-bopping, toe-tapping excitement is hauntingly similar. But never despair, Maroon does indicate the band's impeccable musical brightness and playful creativity, specifically on songs such as "Falling for the First Time" and "Conventioneers." They toy around with adult responsibility and the fear of conflict with such attractive wit, and the messages are right on. And aside from being intelligently impressive, they twist and turn inside their musical sauciness to pluck at jaunty Americana sounds ("Baby Seat") and frilly bossa nova ("Sell, Sell, Sell"). Barenaked Ladies mold blushing harmonies with loopy guitar hooks -- Maroon is simply charming. It's not outstanding, but the Barenaked Ladies do keep their self-defined whimsicality top-notch.
Rolling Stone - Tom Moon
Its been awhile since something so unabashedly wholesome, a rock album so incandescently proud to reference classic pop, came over the transom.
Entertainment Weekly - Tom Sinclair
...the group's sixth album, could be the purest pop record to come along in months.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/12/2000
Label:
Reprise / Wea
UPC:
0093624781424
catalogNumber:
47814
Rank:
126673

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barenaked Ladies   Primary Artist
Jim Scott   Hand Clapping,Soprano (Vocal)
Tyler Stewart   Castanets,Drums,Tambourine,Bells,Hand Clapping,Timpani,cowbell,wah wah guitar
Steven Page   Acoustic Guitar,Flute,Recorder,Vocals,Background Vocals
Kevin Hearn   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Accordion,Glockenspiel,Electric Piano,Vocals,Clavinet,Hand Clapping,Sampling
Ed Robertson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Hand Clapping,wah wah guitar,Cabasa

Technical Credits

Jim Scott   Engineer
Don Was   Producer
Ed Robertson   Composer

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