12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Barenaked Ladies show that the spoils go to the survivors. Despite the 2009 departure of Steven Page—their lead singer and key songwriter—the remaining band members have stepped up to ensure they don't miss a beat. 2013's Grinning Streak takes the professional confidence of 2010's All in Good Time and moves a clear step forward. Ed Robertson, keyboardist Kevin Hearn, and Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin handle the songwriting while producers Howie Beck, Gavin Brown, and Bob Clearmountain lend expertise behind the soundboards. With that artillery, mainstream-sounding pop songs like "Boomerang," "Gonna Walk," "Odds Are," and "Give It Back to You" seem like readymades for commercial radio, with the sort of harmonies that once made Paul McCartney take note. The band's sense of humor is still in the mix, but it's no longer a substitute for honest emotions. Few groups can handle losing their leader, but Barenaked Ladies come out the other side a markedly different—yet impressive—new band.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Barenaked Ladies show that the spoils go to the survivors. Despite the 2009 departure of Steven Page—their lead singer and key songwriter—the remaining band members have stepped up to ensure they don't miss a beat. 2013's Grinning Streak takes the professional confidence of 2010's All in Good Time and moves a clear step forward. Ed Robertson, keyboardist Kevin Hearn, and Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin handle the songwriting while producers Howie Beck, Gavin Brown, and Bob Clearmountain lend expertise behind the soundboards. With that artillery, mainstream-sounding pop songs like "Boomerang," "Gonna Walk," "Odds Are," and "Give It Back to You" seem like readymades for commercial radio, with the sort of harmonies that once made Paul McCartney take note. The band's sense of humor is still in the mix, but it's no longer a substitute for honest emotions. Few groups can handle losing their leader, but Barenaked Ladies come out the other side a markedly different—yet impressive—new band.

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