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Everything to Everyone
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Take your basic rock & roll. Strip it of sweat, sex, swagger, and threat. What do you have left? Barenaked Ladies. Unfair? Maybe. But parents looking for an alternative to more profane pop music will find BNL eligible for the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Despite the name, Barenaked Ladies are less about lust than jest, and the only thing stripped bare is emotion. EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE indicates the Toronto five are also nice guys -- the kind of rock stars you'd be happy to invite over to meet the family.
Is it any good?
BNL has largely dropped the jokiness of its early albums, although there's still a wink-nudge aspect to "Shopping" and "Aluminum." But even when the subjects are depression ("War on Drugs") and frustration ("Unfinished" and "Second Best"), the touch is kept light, and the band's old-fashioned musical virtues -- close harmonies, tight musicianship, and songs with catchy hooks -- make the whole thing go down easy.