October 24 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 31  

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Barenaked Ladies

Everything to Everyone

Love ’em or hate ’em, the Barenaked Ladies are back with Everything to Everyone, a satirical and entertaining album.

The great thing about the Ladies is they don’t care; this album is clearly intended for die-hard fans who appreciate BNL’s clever social commentary.

Those who judge the Ladies for their chronically poor choices regarding single releases are missing out on the gems. With the exception of the song about chimps, Ed Robertson and Steven Page have written an album of clever anecdotes about socio-political issues such as commercialism, capitalism and terrorism. The track “Celebrity” is written as a “Take that!” to those who have often accused the band of selling out for fame, an ironic critique considering the messages in their new album.

In the bubble-gum pop world, the Barenaked Ladies stand out as a nerdy yet refreshing alternative — if you just give them a chance.

—Ashley Audrain

Young and Sexy

Life Through One Speaker
Mint Records

Though the fragile male vocals and wistful female vocals often get compared to the boy-girl dynamic of Belle & Sebastian, Vancouver's Young and Sexy tend to forgo the cute, French-influenced, retro-pop their Scottish peers are known for and instead look to '70s soft-rock, British shoegazers and the expanse of the countryside to create their joyfully lonely music.

Life Through One Speaker is as instantly catchy as the band's debut, but there also seems to be an impetus to make a bit more noise. Electric guitars are more prominent on songs like "One False Move," which begins as a loungy, laidback number, while the layers of guitar on the gorgeous epic "In This Atmosphere" drown the space in an urgent whine.

But never is Speaker a completely guitar-dependent album and the band adeptly balances the loud with their soft keyboards and coy singing to come up with a sublimely sexy record.

-Brian Wong



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