36. Barenaked Ladies: Stunt
When I first heard Barenaked Ladies it was through the song Old Apartment. It used to come on the Box occasionally. I felt nothing towards the song (years later I’d love it) but beyond having a funny name I really didn’t pay mind to Barenaked Ladies. That was until the pop-culture packed hip-hop/alt-rock fuse song One Week exploded onto the radio. Suddenly I (as well as all my classmates) cared very much who they were.
Beyond the fact that One Week was a slam-dunk smash hit; it didn’t hurt that the singles It’s All Been Done and Alcohol had moderate radio success as well leading Stunt to be a massive moment in Barenaked Ladies career. The album was a beautiful combination of upbeat sing-alongs (Never is Enough, Some Fantastic) and sincere acoustic tracks (Light Up My Room, When You Dream). I’m sure plenty of BNL fans will scoff and tell me how wrong I am but while I loved their early music and enjoy the later records (include the most recent album without Steven Page) this is their best record (at least in my opinion).
I remember the album was original a hard-sell for my young brain. I wanted 13 songs that sounded like One Week because I was a kid and kids are stupid and don’t like different things. I think the only other song I loved when I first bought the cassette (yes I was still rocking the occasional cassette in those days) was Who Needs Sleep? As I grew older the occasional song would grow on me or grab my attention but it was 2003 when I got my drivers license that I really loved the album.
I waited until 18 to get a license. No particular reason except lack of motivation I suppose. My first car (and my favorite car still) was a Buick that I got from my grandmother. The car only had a tape deck so despite having well over 1,000 CDs at that point (I’m a compulsive buyer and an obsessive collector, it’s a bad combination) I was forced to listen to a few mix tapes and cassettes I owned. Stunt rarely wasn’t playing in that car. I listened to it forwards and backwards until I had memorized it word for word and fell in love with every track.
My favorite track was (and still is) Never is Enough. At the time that song complete defined my slacker confusion of the future. I was living the moment, about to graduate high school with no college plans as of yet. I just wanted to make movies, hang out with my friends and drive around listening to music. I wish I could say that 9 years later I’m a different person, but I’m not. I still love that song over all other tracks and I’m still as confused as before. The only difference is I have the Barenaked Ladies backing me up now. Let’s be honest, that’s a pretty sweet band to have in your corner.