History Says 'No' to Canadian Group Barenaked Ladies

By Guarino, Mark | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 18, 1998 | Go to article overview

History Says 'No' to Canadian Group Barenaked Ladies


Guarino, Mark, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Mark Guarino Daily Herald Music Critic

Like homicide cops forced to examine mutilated body parts every day, music critics in 1998 had an equal job burden.

We call it the Barenaked Ladies.

Proving once and for all Canadians can't rap, the Ladies have given every sixth grader hope there's gold in them thar flatulence jokes. Like circus monkeys, dancing seals, or morning zoo DJs, the Ladies have trained themselves to entertain to the death, music be damned. Which is a shame since their very able popcraft is much like Squeeze or Del Amitri - but you'd never know it since they seem more concerned with shaking their rumps.

Several Ladies fans wrote me after I reviewed their album, "Stunt" (Reprise) and later their sold-out show at the Rosemont Horizon. Most believed music critics are big, crusty meanies who, in the words of one reader, "have the humor of a middle-aged man going through a death in the family."

I'm no middle-aged man but I know one thing: the Barenaked Ladies, as hard as they try, don't make me laugh. They make me weep.

Weep, since the Ladies are cheap. They know what grabs attention. Court jesters for a comatose king, they dance and mug and beg for audience reactions ad nauseam until it's not clever or even funny anymore. …

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