Rolling Stone - 9/14/00, pp.17-123.5 stars out of 5
- "...It's been a while since something so unabashedly wholesome, a rock album so incandescently proud to reference classic pop, came over the transom..."
Entertainment Weekly - 9/15/00, pp.74-5
"...[It] could be the purest pop record to come along in months....finding the band refining its musical strengths and expanding its lyrical worldview, pounding hooks and messages home with palpable passion and humor..." - Rating: A-
Mojo (Publisher) - 10/00, p.109
"...If you liked the previous stuff you'll like this: it's punchy, inoffensive, jolly, laden with harmonies and hooks..."
Barenaked Ladies: Ed Robertson (vocals, acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, banjo, mandolin, cabasa, tambourine); Steven Page (vocals, acoustic guitar, flute, recorder); Kevin Hearn (electric & baritone guitars, harmonica, accordion, melodica, piano, electric piano, Clavinet, organ, keyboards, glockenspiel, samples, background vocals); Jim Creeggan (baritone guitar, violin, viola, acoustic & electric double basses, 4-string electric bass, background vocals); Tyler Stewart (drums, tympani, castanets, shaker, tambourine, bells, background vocals).
Additional personnel: Jim Scott (vocals); Rob "Tiny" Menegoni (bass drum, maracas, tambourine).
Recorded at Cello Studios, Hollywood, California between April & June 2000.
"Pinch Me" was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Personnel: Ed Robertson (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, wah-wah guitar, tambourine, hand claps); Steven Page (vocals, acoustic guitar, flute, recorder, background vocals); Kevin Hearn (vocals, accordion, piano, electric piano, Clavinet, organ, synthesizer, glockenspiel, hand claps, sampler); Jim Scott (soprano, hand claps); Tyler Stewart (wah-wah guitar, drums, castanets, cowbells, tambourine, timpani, hand claps, bells).
Recording information: Cello Studios, Hollywood, CA (04/2000-06/2000).
Between the releases of 1998's STUNT and 2000'S MAROON, Barenaked Ladies' keyboardist/guitarist Kevin Hearn underwent (and successfully recovered from) a bout with leukemia. Not surprisingly, the subject matter on Barenaked Ladies' sixth album leans toward the darker side of life. Among the foreboding topics touched on are the thoughts of a car crash victim ("Tonight Is the Night I Fell Asleep At the Wheel") and touring countries torn by political strife ("Helicopters"). Luckily, this Canadian quintet uses a combination of impressive pop sensibility and perfect songcraft driven by undeniable hooks to lighten the mood.
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. Among the upbeat pop moments found on MAROON are 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 perfect harmonies form an idyllic pop moment. 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.