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4.4 out of 5 stars
Stunt
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
A lot of older BNL fans say that this album is a sellout for the band, and that Box Set has become a self-fullfilling prophecy. Others might think that Barenaked Ladies are simply a one-hit wonder band. But this is simply not true. While the album is definitely not Gordon, it still rocks, and it's still BNL. It's just different. Alright, so it's more produced than they're earlier stuff, but they're still the same bunch of guys who write excellent lyrics. I'll admit, I bought Stunt because of One Week and It's All Been Done. However, now that I have the CD, those are my two least favorite songs off of the album. "I'll be That Girl" is different, with it's dark lyrics juxtaposed to the upbeat music. "Call and Answer" is an excellent ballad-type song that did not get the radio play that it deserved. "Alcohol" is not what it first seems to be. And of course, if you're ever having an insomniac moment a la "Who Needs Sleep" just pop in "When You Dream" a really thought provoking lullabye. This CD was the first I ever bought that I could listen to straight through without skipping any of the tracks, and it's not even the Barenaked Ladies best. If you can, find the LE, which has two extra tracks. "Long Way Back Home" is excellent, even if it does have a bit of a country feel to it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a great one although their earlier albums are superior (particularly Gordon and Born on a Pirate Ship.) It is well worth the money. Stunt is a fabulous eclectic CD with some songs that are a serious and sad (like "Call and Answer") and some that are fast and funny (like "Some Fantastic" or their Radio hit "One Week".) Everyone has probably heard "One Week" and if you liked it you should DEFINATALY buy this CD. If you didn't like it then you should buy the CD anyway because all of the other songs are much better than that song even though it is already fantabulous.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Alright, let's get one thing straight--I see lots of one-star reviews on this page absolutely trashing this album because all the songs didn't sound exactly like "One Week." If you're bitching about that fact, it's no one's fault but your own for following the masses running out to buy the CD for the one song getting radio airplay. Those who took the time to find out know that none of Barenaked Ladies' previous work is particularly similar to "One Week," and unsurprisingly, nor is the rest of Stunt. Almost all of the songs on the CD are very listenable, but just as they don't plunge to the depths of experimental mediocrity that some songs on previous releases do, nor do Stunt's tracks soar to the same brilliance. "One Week" is great, and "It's All Been Done," "Call and Answer," and "I Told You So" are also strong efforts, but many of the songs on the album are not particularly compelling or meaningful. The well-polished, risk-free songs are nice to listen to, but lack the passion and energy of their live work (one of my recurring criticisms of the Ladies' studio work), and lack the experimental tricks and rough edges that mark some of their most brilliant work. There aren't any songs on this album with the raw passion of "Break Your Heart," the infectious energy of "Brian Wilson" or the blend of musical styles and instruments that drives "Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank." Further, the Ladies' writing proves a double-edged sword, as their wittiness sets apart some songs, but mars others. "Light Up My Room," for instance, features good music and a neat central image to build a song around, but cutesy, semi-nonsense verses keep the song from reaching its huge potential. Ditto for several others on the album. If you like the Ladies already, then Stunt will be a welcome addition to your CD collection, particularly if you can get your hands on the limited edition version, which features two strong extra tracks. However, if this is your first foray into Barenakedness, I think you'd be better advised starting out with Rock Spectacle or perhaps Gordon, which capture the band at its most brilliant, and take the rest from there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
From the opening track, "One Week", and its rhythmic magic and lyrical genius, you can tell that this album is truly a masterpiece. But "One Week" is far from the only "happening tune" on this album. In true Barenaked Ladies fashion, every song is outstanding, and unique. Second on the CD is the feel-good '60s-style "It's All Been Done", which is reminisent of the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family, but good. Next, "Light Up My Room" is a melodically soothing ballade that far surpasses the boring monotonous efforts of other groups to attemp this style of song. Fourth on the disc is another pinnacle, "I'll Be That Girl". Very catchy, it has a sort of mysterious sound that is sure to have listeners crying for more. Next comes the country twang sound of "Leave". It is craftily mixed to attract country fans and country haters alike and is simply another style the Ladies have perfected. The album's sixth track is one of the groups all time greatest. "Alcohol" recreates the magic of "The Old Appartment" with its beat, and gets the blood pumping with its envigorating energy. Throw in the Ladies' witty lyrics and it becomes an instant classic. Seventh is the love-torn tune "Call and Answer", from which emenates a rarely created feel-good melancholy. Next is the techno hit "In The Car", which combines Beach Boys Style surfer attitude, a great chorus, and sexy, subtly racy lyrics. Track nine, "Never Is Enough", is a pure example of BNL's lyrical genius, combining youthful free spirit with an addictingly different sound. Following this gem is "Who Needs Sleep", with a beat that will have the whole family head-banging in no time. It is another exibition of the Ladies' immortality in music. The eleventh track, "Told You So", has an alternative rhyme pattern and artful lyrics that make it super duper! "Some Fantastic" adds yet another highly melodic and brilliantly-worded hit to BNL's arsenal that will keep you in a great mood for hours and simply make you want to dance! To end the album, "When You Dream" is perhaps the only mediocre song that BNL has ever come out with. It is decent, but not up to their normal God-like wizardry. It in no way retracts, though, from the awesomeness of this CD. It is possibly one of the top five CDs of all time and its a must have for any sane individual, especially a fan of the Barenaked Ladies' earlier works. Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Its hard for me to find many late 1990's records that I like. The over emphasis on technology and the overreliance of talking one's lyrics instead of singing them has made much of music today somewhat below standard when compared to other eras. However, in the case of the Barenaked Ladies Stunt, everything seems to work perfectly. The rap section in One Week is very complimentary to the hook laden chorus. This song is both radio friendly yet creative. It has some special effects yet there is a good backbeat. The other songs are all very strong and written from the heart. Call And Answer is a special gem as it portrays a relationship in distress. Alcohol shows the light hearted sound of the Ladies as it chugs along quite nicely and woul;d fit into any non-rap party environment. In general each of the songs displays a fresh arrangement and a captivating rhythm. Nothing is over emphasized. That is the key reason why I rate this recording as the best release for 1998.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If you are new to Barenaked Ladies music, then start with their other recordings first. This one is the most commerical sounding of them all. It has happy party tunes like "One Week", "It's All Been Done", and "Alcohol". Most of the songs have happy tunes accompanied with dark lyrics. Most of the slower songs are good too. "Light Up My Room" is a cool song that is about the lightpoles in neighborhoods at night and "Call and Answer" begins as a lovely "I'll be there for you song" until it turns dark toward the end. All in all this is a very enjoyable album. I also would like to add the lady who lived in the house I just purchased actually knew the Barenaked Ladies and had them over for a bar-b-que. Don't worry, she said they are really down to earth guys.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Don't be fooled by the sweet melodies on this CD, which often conceal some very sinister and bitter lyrics. Some of the songs, such as "In the Car," show mercy and compassion for their characters, but others like "I'll Be That Girl," "Some Fantastic," and "Call and Answer" contain dark, violent undertones. While they sound sugary sweet, when one examines the lyrics, they look like love poems gone horribly wrong in the hands of a psychotic ex-boyfriend. Elsewhere, "Never is Enough" serves up enough vitriolic cynicism to poison an army (although I do agree with their point that working retail is a pain in the neck), while "Alcohol" revels in self-destructive behavior as an escape from the daily grind. Sometimes these wicked concoctions are funny, but more often than not they become off-putting. Because the music lacks the cathartic qualities of hard rock, punk, or metal (see "Angel Dust" by Faith No More or "London Calling" by the Clash), the negative themes juxtaposed with cute instrumentation creates a kind of unresolved tension which is in my opinion counterproductive. Still, the solid musicianship and stellar songwriting craft of "Stunt" make it a better than average listening experience. The band has good chemistry, the production is surgically precise, and the voice of Steven Page sends shivers up your spine even as he makes death threats. One more thing, I feel that BNL is easier to stand when confronted with their charming live presence, and I would highly recommend their concerts even to a casual fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This group is one of the best around, and I don't attach many such superlatives to current rock bands. Although there are many highly addictive tracks, my favorites include "It's All Been Done" and (my nomination for song of the year...yes, I know it's too late) "Call and Answer." After this CD, I bought 2 earlier ones, but I think this is their best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Stunt is the best CD I own. I has 8 good songs on it. These are in know particular order. One Week, It's all Been Done, Light Up My Room, Leave, Call and Answer, Never is Enough, Who Needs Sleep, and When you Dream. If this won Album of the year I would have no trouble seeing why. Another great album by the Bare Naked Ladies. My favorite.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I recently (4-03) found this 5 year old CD in a box at a flea market and figured that spending $1.00 on it was no big deal. I had never even heard of the BNL, but the name alone was enough to catch my attention.
I was pleasantly surprised when I popped the CD into my player. What a nice montage of musical styles. Not only does this CD cover a lot of musical ground, but the proficiency of the playing and singing is equally enjoyable. And then there's the lyrics... simple on the surface, but actually deep and meaningful in places. (Of course "One Week" doesn't fall into this category, but it's a heckuva lot of fun nonetheless) One example of the better lyrics is "Light In My Room". It has an almost sarcastic naiveté to it, even though the average person might simply and easily dismiss it as nothing more than oddball drivel. And then there's "When You Dream". For anyone who's ever stared at their little baby boy or girl sleeping, this song is almost poignant. There's even a reference to the late, great, Del Shannon!
From a creative standpoint, the quality and quantity of this CD reminded me a lot of Lenny Kravitz; another artist who's not afraid to explore all kinds of musical territory.
For someone in his or her 40's, CDs like Stunt are not only enjoyable to listen to, they're comforting in the sense that they make you realize that there's still good music out there, played on real instruments by real musicians, with lyrics that actually are lyrics; not adrenaline-laden screaming or repetitive common denominator rap rhyming.
If you're in the same age group as me, go get this CD. You won't regret it.
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