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ALBUM – Gordon

ARTIST – The Barenaked Ladies

YEAR – 1992

You just had to be there!  Don’t you hate it when people tell a story and there’s this awkward silence afterward?  It’s the perfect moment to throw in a “You had to be there”.  It is annoying, but it’s true, in this case.  This album, apart from bringing me back to the 90s and freshman year at Brookfield High School, stirs up some pretty awesome times.

It was a time of many firsts.  Let’s see, first cigarette, first High School crush (still sort of have a crush, after all these years), first serious make-out session, first contact with a bunch of older people, lots of firsts in the music territory, like the drums (I still played the clarinet, but took up the drums, as well) and first time away from all of my Middle School/High school mates.   I had to move away, to another country, at the end of my freshman year.  They were, I won’t lie, hard times.

But, all of that behind me and you, all of the fond memories remain.  And this album sticks out for being a perfect wormhole for me to travel back in time to Ottawa and to what that time and friends and city meant (and still means) to me.  I still maintain contact with some of my buddies from back then – usually on a Facebook basis.  Regardless, the memories are great.

So, why this album?  Well, there are, first of all, obvious reasons; for instance, they are Canadian, they were huge when I was in school at the time and it related perfectly to what a lot of what me and my friends were going through (the lyrics, I mean).  And, for some not so obvious reasons, these guys just represent a good time in my life – probably the best I ever had.  It is, like I mentioned before, I can travel back through time and place myself in certain situations and remember exactly what was going on and what I was feeling.  Not many other musical references allow me to feel this way.  Weird, EH?!

Now, I don’t want to get carried away with adolescence and forget about the music.  So, I reckon we can focus on that now, right?!  First is the classic, classic, unbelievably corny and wonderful and brilliant number 2 track, “Enid”.  It’s my favourite.  I love the last part “But maybe it’s fair to say there was a lack of communication.  I took a phone message, oh and, speaking of communication…  Oh and Enid, Enid you caught a cold.  I can a job, I can pay the phone bills, I can cut the lawn, cut my hair, cut offl my cholesterol, I could work overtime, I could work in a mine.  I could do it all for you…  BUT I DON’T WANT TO…”.  Seriously, the little pause after “I could do it all for you” always gets me.  Check it out.

Then there’s the next track, number 3 on the CD.  Just a small interruption, I had this in cassette!  “Grade 9” is a perfect picture of the stereotypes found in a Canadian High School, when you first look around and get a feel of what awaits.  The different little groups and the astonishment of all the different people you meet and run into.  There’s so much to process the first couple of weeks.  The song captures it brilliantly.  Of course, the best part is the High School dance, which, ALWAYS, no matter what, ended with Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”.

The rest of the album is filled with comedic tracks and some rather more serious and mature ones.  It’s the case with “Brian Wilson”.  ” ’cause right now I am lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did”.  I love the acoustic guitar and bongos.  “Be My Yoko Ono” is a favourite, together with “If I had a Million Dollars”.  All tracks, once again, are great.  You really can’t go wrong with this recording.  It’s very upbeat and will undoubtedly get you in a good mood and singing along to their silly and goofy lyrics.  Try it on for size.


One Comment

  1. If I had a million dollars… I´d be rich

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