Barenaked Ladies

Desperation/Warner Brothers, 2008

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


All drug arrests and plane crashes aside, there’s something appealingly childlike about the Barenaked Ladies. I’m a fan of the group way back to “Jane” (off of 1994’s Maybe You Should Drive), and part of what I’ve always enjoyed is that they rarely -- if ever -- take themselves seriously.

So when they made the final step into pre-adolescent madness and decided to put a children’s CD together, I had to hear Snacktime for myself. Unsurprisingly, it works really well. So well, in fact, that I have had to steal the CD back from my eight-year-old daughter no less than my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 five times, and my fifteen-year-old son will still bounce through the house singing “Ninjas” (“The ninjas are deadly and silent / They’re also unspeakably violent / They speak Japanese, do whatever they please / And sometimes they vacation in Ireland”). If you’re looking for an album to get your children started down the slippery slope towards utter surrealism, this is the one you’re looking for.

The production and engineering is tight, crisp, and clear. There are very few fillers on Snacktime, despite the track list being twenty-four deep. The nicest touch may be that this is truly a family affair; various BNL kids, relatives, friends, friends’ kids, and possibly random passersby show up, add their two cents (Canadian), and then take off. A partial list of guests includes Geddy Lee, Gord Downie, Janeane Garofalo, Sarah McLachlan, Jason Priestley, Weird Al Yankovic, and Gordon Lightfoot -- and that’s just one song (“Snacktime”).

Other tracks worthy of note include “7 8 9” (which might actually scare little kids -- say the title aloud and you’ll get the idea), the truly evil “Raisins” (it sticks in your head and will NOT LEAVE), “Allergies,” “A Word For That,” and the heartwarming and short “Things.” The best track by far, though, has to be “Crazy ABCs,” where Ed and Steve show us why they deserve a space next to Shel Silverstein in the Bizarre ABCs Heavenly Heirarchy. Any song that begins “A is for aisle, B is for bdellium…” and ends with speculation as to why the only guy in ZZ Top who doesn’t have a beard is named Beard is delightfully, magnificently weird, and funny as hell.

In short, Snacktime is delightful for adults, amusing for kids, and definitely worth looking at and listening to. And who knows? Maybe you’ll figure out the word for R.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2008 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Desperation/Warner Brothers, and is used for informational purposes only.