Barenaked Ladies release full-length ‘Fake Nudes’

Barenaked Ladies
Fake Nudes

Raisin’ Records · November 17, 2017

The Barenaked Ladies strike back with some old and some new on Fake Nudes, their most recent album.


These old white dudes know exactly what they’re doing — I’m just not quite sure what it is. Maybe they’re out to prove that they can be relevant, even 25 years after their first studio release. Perhaps they’re determined to show that Canadians can write good music too. Or, maybe, they’re trying to outlast their former bandmates’ cocaine scandal. To be honest, I really don’t know what the band is on a mission to do. I cannot figure it out no matter how many times I listen to the album, but I love it anyways.

“I know what it’s like when the blind lead the blind into the night.” – Bag of Bones

Most of the songs sound like the first song on the album, ‘Canada Dry.’ That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, because ‘Canada Dry’ sounds just like the Barenaked Ladies that we’ve come to know and love. Almost every song on the album starts off with a fun and simple chord progression followed by great one-liners like, “You leave me high and Canada Dry,” or “Freaky like antiguey-d.” It’s fun, it’s good, it’s “barenaked.” But there’s some significantly less barenaked goodness on this album too. I don’t know where these new style experiments came from, but I like it.

“Everywhere I go is home / Every town and every road / Every song I’ve ever known / Carried in my bones / I feel like a lightning strike / Every time I rock the mic / You can join me if you’d like / Or I’ll go on my own.” – Lookin’ Up

The third song on the album, ‘Invisible Fence,’ takes a political stance that goes far beyond the typical barenaked repertoire. They take a fascinating stance to modern diplomacy issues at the executive level as they sing: “Some people want to build more walls, pretend there’s no shot at peace at all.” Perhaps this line is fueled by inspiration from significantly more youthful musical influences like Fifth Harmony taking a stance against Trump’s idea of international diplomacy. No matter where it came from, the point remains that it is different. And although I typically hate when albums break flow, Barenaked Ladies are so consistently prolific that I have trouble judging the quality of such a small aspect of the record as a whole.

“It’s difficult not to take offense / When you’re running into an invisible fence.” – Invisible Fence

Two tracks later, the band comes back to the political realm, this time to the world of socioeconomic justice. The song ‘Sunshine’ is centered around the line, “I ran fast, but I came last / ‘Cause although I set the pace / It was rigged from the start that I’d lose this race.”

This is a clear reference to the notion of moral luck, which points out that it is not possible to say that all children are given an equal chance to succeed. With that having been said, this is an interesting thing for a group of successful old men to point out.

The final song on the album, ‘Township of King,’ is folksy, random, and sounds like something that Mumford and Sons would write, but it’s amazing. It talks about a queen who rules over “the fields and farms,” and although I have yet to figure out if it has anything to do with anything, I know that is an early favorite from Fake Nudes.

“Then one day a yellow bird landed on her hand / devoted, it sang to her so that she could understand / it warned of the trucks coming up the road filled with concrete and steel / about to cut down all the trees and pave over the fields.” – Township of King

Don’t let the title fool you: This album is the Real Nudes of music. The Barenaked Ladies put out an album with good, fun jams for the long-time fans, and some cool experiments for the newbies. I love the band, I love their hits, I love their B-sides, but not everyone does. So, if for no other reason, I propose that everyone listen to this album at least once for the cutest love story reference that satiric alt-rock has ever heard: “I’ll be your Wesley, you be my Buttercup.”

“It’s you and me against the world / and it won’t stand a chance no matter what the circumstance” – You + Me Vs The World

Listen to Fake Nudes here:

About Andrew Szendrey 7 Articles
Hot take: 'The Incredible True Story' by Logic was the best album of 2015. Andrew Szendrey is a first year Pharmaceutical Sciences student who has no business writing about music or getting into concerts for free, but does it anyways. He likes country even though he doesn't know anything about tractors. His favorite artists are Lynyrd Skynyrd, Darius Rucker, Timeflies, OneRepublic, Logic, Witt Lowry, Chef'Special, and a hometown band called Ottawa.

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