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Barenaked for the Holidays
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$6.68+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2004
BNL joins the tired ranks of groups to release Christmas albums. Of course, they do it in true BNL fashion, and are not content to simply record a bunch of slightly-warmed-over standards. Some of the songs are original compositions, such as "Christmastime (Oh Yeah)," and some are standards done up in BNL's jazzy, rock style. Still others sound as if they are being played on your Grandmother's old electric organ, complete with tacky drum machine. (I have to wonder if this last is a peek into their early Christmas traditions.) And lastly, there are some very off-the-wall tunes, like "Deck the Stills" and "Sleigh Ride" that pretty much sound like the guys screwing around.

All of the tracks are well-polished, and the entire album evokes a holiday spirit. So in that sense, this album is a huge success. I only subtract 1 star because if you're not a fan of the band, you won't be too interested in their interpretation of the standards, and the novelty songs will probably be a bit of a turn off. However, if you like BNL, this is a must-have, even if you skip a few of the songs after listening to them once.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2005
Every year I get a Christmas CD for my collection. I like it to be different, new songs, new or unusual arrangements of old songs, and BNL fit the bill. They are their usual irreverent selves and their humor can be found in this CD as with all their others. I like their version of "Do They Know It's Christmas" and I know they were having fun recording "I Have a Little Dreidel".

As has been said before, if you are not a BNL fan, some of the songs on this CD will not be up your alley. But those of us who do enjoy them - will enjoy this collection of Christmas songs. I recommend you add it to your collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2004
Barenaked Ladies' first Christmas album is pretty good. The best songs are the traditional carols that BNL have "sillied" up. For instance, in "Jingle Bells" they've changed one verse to the old kids' favorite: "Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..." There's also a funny rendition of "Deck the Halls" in which the only lyrics are "Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young" repeated over and over again. There is also a track in which the band sings "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. My only complaint is that the original songs written by BNL aren't as great as the traditional carols, and don't really sound much like Christmas songs. But all in all, the album has enough BNL fun to satisfy any fan of the band.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Some of these songs just make me laugh. If you're a BNL fan, I think you'll truly appreciate their antics on this album. If you're looking for traditional holiday favorites, you won't find them here. If you're sick to death of the traditional holiday favorites and want something that'll put a smile on your face, I suggest giving this one a shot.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2004
My wife, being a Christmas Junkie, buys around 5 new Christmas albums each year. Starting mid-November, pretty much the only music in the house, in the car, in the portable CD player is christmas music. Since we're BNL fans, this was one of the ones she chose this year. It is very consistent with their musical style - the quirky semi-ad libbing kinda thing they do.

The problem (for us) is that the quirkiness is funny the first time you hear it on a Christmas album, but having heard it once, there's no reason to hear it again. For instance singing the Happy Birthday Song to Jesus would be great if you were at a concert and everyone sang along campily (and to be honest, our kids, 4 and 2, are still singing happy birthday Jesus). Or inserting the age-old "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Robin laid an Egg."

This isn't an album that we are likely to listen to more than once a year (if at all in the future), and when you're paying that much for an album with so little replayability, it's somewhat discouraging. If you like to get a lot of mileage out of your albums, this probably isn't one to get. If you're looking for something to play for a college Christmas party where everyone will hear it once and get a real kick out of some of the silliness, then this album is probably for you.
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115 of 159 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2004
I've been a fan of BNL since just before Maybe You Should Drive (I think I'm one of the 14 or so people in the world who loves that album), and have come to expect something different from the Ladies with each release. If they released the equivalent of Stunt 2, Stunt 3 and Stunt 4, for the sake of the masses and the band's popularity and commercial success, that schtick would get old really quick, and fans would criticize them for selling out.

So, while Maroon was a bit of a departure from Stunt, if you appreciate their experimentation with different sounds, it grows on you; it's truly a solid effort. Everything for Everyone, well, is half great/half mediocre (I'm resisting saying "terrible") -- rather, it seems like the band just threw something together to get their record label off their backs. (This is what I like to believe; the converse, that the band actually LIKED some of those songs and thought they were good, is too frightening to consider.)

So, here we have their holiday album. If Everything for Everyone seems thrown together, this project just reeks of a studio exec thinking "BNL's fame is waning; let's get them to release a 'Christmas' album right before the holidays, and squeeze as much money from their loyal fans as possible."

Folks, no matter how much I'd like to say otherwise, this CD is pretty bad. Now, I know I'm going to get a lot of "not a helpful review" comments from the BNL faithful, but they're not listening to the album. Listening to the entire thing is a chore; thankfully it's fairly short, so the pain is over quicker.

The best song on it -- "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" recorded backstage with Sarah McLachlan in 1996 -- is TRULY wonderful (hence the 2nd star). It's loose, relaxed, and a great take on an Xmas tune that can be pretty boring to listen to if done more traditionally. But, that song is available on a MUCH BETTER album put out by Nettwerk in 2000, entitled "Christmas Songs". There you get great tunes by the likes of Dido, Delirium, and Matthew Ryan, as well as Sarah McLachlan's wonderful cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "Song For A Winter's Night"...

Do yourself a favor. Pick up Nettwerk's "Christmas Songs", or save your money for a show the next time BNL is in your area...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2004
This is a Christmas CD for people who enjoy fun Christmases (if that's word!). In typical BNL fashion it is bright, happy, uptempo, and extremely fun to listen to if you're a BNL fan. For those non-BNL fans, some of the songs may bother you because they're not the way you're used to hearing the typical Christmas songs. The original songs on this album are just so-so, which is why I give it only 4 stars, but then again every rock/pop/mainstream artist who makes a Christmas album fills it up with so-so new Christmas songs which I doubt anyone actually listens to annually.

The reason to buy this CD is if you're a Barenaked Ladies fan and you want to hear what they do to some of your old Christmas faves. They make 'em fun and enjoyable so I recommend this CD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I love the Barenaked Ladies. I actually received this CD as a birthday present from my parents. The only reason that I didn't purchase the album myself was because of all of the poor reviews here on Amazon.

But out of the kindness of my heart, I listened to the CD in its entirety so that my parents wouldn't think that I disliked their gift. When I actually listened to it, the album wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It's actually a nice break from the radio station's constant Christmas version of their corny elevator music (over and over and over and...). Instead, the Barenaked Ladies gives audiences their own corny, as it were, version of the holiday season. And they do their best to not leave people out.

There are traditional religious songs with their own twist to them, my favorite being "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with Sarah McLaughlan. There are Hanukkah songs, like the classic Dreidle song, and there are some Santa songs, too, like "Elf's Lament."

Overall, the Barenaked Ladies give a little more joy to the holiday season with their originality. However, I have to give them three stars because sometimes, the tunes can seem overdone or annoying. The album boasts 20 tracks, but don't let that fool you - the songs are rather short, and all 20 can easily be listened to on your way to or from work.

Try to preview the CD before you purchase it, so you're not surprised if this BNL piece isn't your cup of tea...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2005
I can see how very tongue-in-cheek it is, but it might have gone a little overboard in that respect. This album is definitely not for everyone, from some of the cheap "gramma's electric organ" instrumentals, to some of the not-quite-so-sophisticated new offerings, it sort of leaves you with the initial impression of "what are they trying to do here?"

But, if you give it a couple of listens, you might start to see some of the boyish nostalgia that the band is firmly based on. All of them probably listened to that old scratchy christmas music that we did as kids, and they all probably toyed with gramma's electric organ down in the basement.

They also do some clearly good stuff on the album - a really kicking version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, all the joyously goofy versions of Jingle Bells, and the Band-Aid hit Do They Know It's Christmas?

In the end, it's a nice addition to the old Christmas music collection, but leaves me hoping that they didn't predict their own fate in Gordon's "Box Set".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 17, 2004
I love BNL and was so excited to see this cd, that I bought it immediately. I wish I had listened to the audio samples before buying, but it got such good reviews, plus it is BNL - I figured it had to be great.

It's not horrible, it's just ok. Some of the songs are really fun and definitely worth owning (Elf's Lament, Jingle Bells, etc). But other songs are just not great. And there are way too many instrumentals. I suppose musicians and hardcore fans probably enjoy the instrumentals, but I end up just skipping them.

Overall, I guess this cd is not for everyone. My only suggestion is to sample the audio clips before buying and if you like what you hear, then go for it.

Happy Holidays!
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