Barenaked Ladies Are Me
Deluxe Edition


BLAM marks BNL’s first proper album since declaring independence and the band has come out with guns blazing! Officially, BLAM sessions yielded 29 songs which are available to the public in several formats.  

I am reviewing the 27 track deluxe edition featured at emusic (click on the link on our home page for more details), just to avoid any confusion. At about 22 cents per song, this double album cost me a mere six bucks! Talk about value for money… 

And trust me when I say that BLAM is one of those albums, which pop fans will be constantly returning to for its verve, creativity, wit and melodicism. I have never been much of a BNL fan but the quality of the songs on BLAM has literally blown me away with their immediacy and freshness. 

My absolute faves at the moment: 

“Adrift” – Soft rock guitar plucking underpins this carefree song. It is the sound of spinning around on a sunny day. One could get lost in its simple beauty.  

“Bank Job” – This track is funny, no two ways about it, dealing as it does with a botched heist. Not much melodically but the lyrics deliver a real punch – “We should be in condos with ocean front views/Instead, we’re “Most Wanted” on the six o’clock news” Priceless! 

“Sound of Your Voice” – Reminds me of Squeeze. A muscular guitar sound. Quirky love song of sorts. 

“Easy” – Ah, the designated single choice, has a nice ring to it. Acoustic guitar chimes throughout with a charming hook. 

“Bull in a China Shop” – This one’s a bit of a feisty rocker about displacement. Outside looking in. Love the horns. 

“Everything Has Changed” – Accordions, cellos and banjos makes for traditional listening. Somehow it recalls Supertramp and that is a good thing. 

“Rule the World With Love” – Interesting power chord changes. 

“Something You’ll Never Find” – The obligatory Who rip-off. Or Elvis Costello homage. I can’t decide. 

“Half A Heart” – Midtempo splendor with an odd AOR vibe. 

“Fun and Games” – Anti-war protest song delivered with sarcastic levity.  

Throughout BLAM, there’s a disconcerting 80s country-folk affectation blended with edgy late 70s post punk (XTC) which comes across, at times, like a team-up between Bruce Hornsby and Andy Partridge! But hey, all of us need to be jarred out of our comfort zones… 

Simply put, BLAM is a highly recommended release for 2006, not least because most of the money you spend here will end up in the pockets of the band themselves. Certainly a great leap forward. A-