Barenaked Ladies are Pinball Wizards


One reason that Ed Robertson & Co have survived for so long is their ability to keep up with the times. By this I don’t mean to say that they undergo a radical transformation with each record, but somehow, every time I hear them, they always seem to make a slight change to give their music a modern feel. Ironic given that the title of the album Silverball is in reference to Robertson’s love of old school arcade pinball machines. Something that is becoming quite rare these days.

Even with those alterations, Silverball runs like a classic BNL record. The opening of the title track seems to come right out of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001. Even the soft, ethereal piano that follows is an escape into dreamland. Narrow Streets features a good ol’ fashioned rock’n’roll riff that serves as a great side dish to the more laid-back tracks on the album.

I wish that Steve Smith featured on Duct Tape Heart just because it would have been awesome and slightly meta. I do still love the track. It has a great opening kick and wonderful lyrics. The overall tone feels slightly retro, which I enjoy. 

This album is perhaps less witty and humourous than some of their earlier outputs, but at the same time, it may be their most musically strong from a technical standpoint. 

Overall, Silverball is a relaxed bulabase of comfort food from one of Canada’s most venerated musical institutions. Now Robertson should go challenge Elton John to a pinball match.

Silverball will be released on June 2, 2015

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