Album review: BARENAKED LADIES – Detour de Force

BARENAKED LADIES - Detour de Force

Raisin’ Records [Release date 16.07.21]

It has been four years since Barenaked Ladies released their excellent ‘Fake Nudes’ and like many artists it was started before the outbreak of the pandemic, which delayed its completion and has played havoc with their touring plans (their Last Summer On Earth Tour is now scheduled for next year).

Produced by Juno award-winner Eric Ratz with Mark Howard, the album benefits of the so-called “pandemic pause effect” that has resulted in many excellent albums being released this year so far. With little or no live action many artists, Barenaked Ladies included, became immersed in making their albums in a way they hadn’t been able to before.

The opening duo of ‘Flip’ and ‘Good Life’ bodes well for the rest of the album. ‘Flip’ is one of those instant on the ears songs that should be a hit single. ‘Good Life’ sees them reflecting on their thirty plus years of performing, complete with a rap and again a chorus that you’ll be humming after just one play.

The pandemic certainly provided them with song ideas with ‘New Disaster’ reflecting on the seemingly never ending series of bad news stories on the mainstream news media.

After such an energetic start to the album the gentle, country refrains on ‘Live Well’ shows the other side of Barenaked Ladies musical world. The band’s love of a quirky lyric, and indeed musical backing (the keyboards parts on this one are superb!), come through loud and clear on ‘Flat Earth’.

‘National Park’ is one of those dreamy pop songs Barenaked Ladies seem to create with ease, as is the next song after it, ‘Man Made Lake’. Both are sumptuous on the listener’s ears.

Only the last track on the album, ‘Internal Dynamo’, seems a little strange even for this band. Little bit of rap, some weird electronics. Just seems to be missing that magic spark present on the rest of the album.

Barenaked Ladies show no signs of letting slip their excellent run of albums. I am sure when they tour the world next year many of the songs on here will feature in the set list. A quirky pop rock tour de force! ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 12 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 14 September 2021.


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Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
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