So, Grinning Streak
by Barenaked Ladies is amazing. I love it so much, a lot more than All in Good Time
. AiGT was the result of a lot of unpleasantness (Steve's departure, Ed's mom dying, and then him crashing his plane that one time), and I think you can feel that in the album. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but what BNL is so amazing at is making really deep, dark music that doesn't sound deep and dark on the surface. Some of AiGT was really angry. I think it's an album they needed to make. But I'm glad they're past it now.
In Grinning Streak
it feels like they're back to their old selves, but not in a stuck-and-stagnant kind of way. It feels like they're progressing while keeping what makes them great. It sounds upbeat on the surface; I can't think of a song that sounds like Ed wants to punch a wall or anything. My faves so far are "Limits", "Off His Head", "Odds Are", "Give it Back to You" and "Did I Say That Out Loud".
"Smile" is a great clap-along. "Crawl" totally reminds me of Don Henley, like, so hard it's not even funny. "Did I Say That Out Loud" has a great "oh-whoa-oh-oh-whoa-oh-oh" part that is wonderfully reminiscent of New Kids on the Block. "Give it Back to You" is the bittersweet ballad. "Keepin' it Real" is as close to angry as the album gets and it's got kind of a stompin' bluesy thing going on. "Gonna Walk" is just clappy feel-goodness. "Boomerang", "Odds Are" and "Best Damn Friend" are just pure BNL. "Off His Head" has a sound I really love that I can't ever really describe properly, idk.
Ed sings lead on all the main tracks except one, "Daydreamin'", which is Kevin's (and it's so
Kevin. It has that dreamlike, multi-layered quality that he does so well. It actually kind of reminds me of "Here Come the Geese" from Snacktime
, but more electronic-y). There are three bonus tracks (which are not included in the tracks the band so kindly uploaded to Youtube). Ed sings lead on two of them, and Jim takes the other one. While listening to the album, I was wondering where Jim's contribution was. His song on AiGT, "I Saw It", is one of my faves from that album. But then he turned up in a bonus track. I admit, I'm not that crazy about the bonus tracks, so that's a bit disappointing. Actually, no, I do really like "The Fog of Writing", which Ed sings. It feels very much like classic BNL to me. I can almost hear Steve's voice in it.
I threw all the tracks that are on Youtube into a playlist here
I love this album so much. As much as it still pains me to see the four of them on the cover of the album sans Steve, it's an album that maybe heals the wound a little because they sound like they're in a much better place.
Here's "Limits" which is totally being added to my jogging playlist:
"Did I Say That Out Loud":