The second album from Barenaked Ladies (BNL), released in 1994 on Sire Records.

After the youthful exuberance of their debut (Gordon), comes a release showing much higher production values, and a little more maturity in the guys; although not quite losing the sense of fun that is BNL.

Probably one of the less popular albums, it was released before they had had any hit singles in the UK or US, although they were quite well-known on the live circuit. It is also the last album featuring Andy Creeggan.

The lineup:

It's difficult to categorize the members by role, since they seem to share lead vocals, and various other parts; for example, Andy takes piano and lead vocal on Little Tiny Song, while on other songs, Ed and Steven have a pretty equal share of lead vocal, with the other performing the lead guitar.

The sound of the album is typical BNL. Very tight harmonies, generally upbeat, interestingly scored and arranged music with quirky, witty vocals. Pop/rock with a slight lounge feel.

The themes of most of the tracks are very similar - love, loss, commitment, regret, relationships - whether romantic (in the case of Jane, You Will Be Waiting and others), or between a father and son (Great Provider). Just listening to, or reading the lyrics could prove slightly depressing; but the majority of the music fortunately brings the mood back up.

  1. Jane (4:05)

    Jane, desired by the people at the school and work,
    Jane is tired, 'cause every man becomes a lovesick jerk.
  2. Intermittently (3:05)

    She's a lot like you, but she don't look like you,
    Okay, she's not you, but she'll do fine.
  3. These Apples (3:10)
    So enthusiastic, a little bit drastic,
    I shaved her name in my head.
    As she beheld it, she said I misspelled it,
    Need more be said?
  4. You Will Be Waiting (3:45)
    You say you cannot live with me, you need your own identity,
    And now we air our laundry on national TV.
  5. A (4:19)
    A is for attitude I can't help but wield,
    A is for arrogance: emotional shield.
  6. Everything Old Is New Again (4:13)
    Learn to lose, it's easier that way.
  7. Alternative Girlfriend (4:22)
    I've got a job in a shop,
    I'm an undercover cop,
    I make sure the customers aren't thieves.
  8. Am I The Only One? (4:49)
    Am I the only one who needs to to go...
    Go on about me?
  9. Little Tiny Song (1:02)
    Hey, I'm a cow... I'm curious.
  10. Life, In A Nutshell (3:14)
    When she was 3, her Barbies always did it on the first date,
    Now she's with me, there's never any need for them to demonstrate.
  11. The Wrong Man Was Convicted (5:05)
    I changed my mind: you said that I could change it back,
    I wanted space, and now change has fallen through the cracks.
  12. Great Provider (4:35)
    I wait to see if you've any last words,
    We pulled away, I called your name, I don't think you heard.
If you were to search out only a couple of tracks as a sampler, then I would recommend Everything Old Is New Again for an example of a downbeat, serious track. With its great brass arrangement, and competent phrasing it's a gem. A is a good example of one of the more upbeat tracks.

Ed Robertson's writing and vocals shine from Am I The Only One, as his songs always do on all of BNL's albums. He has a much more measured and calm style. If I could recommend only one track, this would be it, even though it does not give an overall impression of the album as a whole.

Tiny Little Song is a complete anomoly; but worth listening to for novelty value. It is a solo effort by Andy Creeggan.

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