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Barenaked Ladies

Grinning Streak

On Grinning Streak, the Barenaked Ladies' 11th album and second since the departure of co-frontman Steven Page in 2009, the band regains some of the footing they initially lost on 2010's All in Good Time. Surely Page's absence changed the dynamics of the group, which saw singer/guitarist Ed Robertson planted firmly in the driver's seat, with occasional songwriting and vocal contributions from bassist Jim Creegan and keyboardist Kevin Hearn. And while BNL were never completely the pop-rock court jesters they were pegged as following goofy hits like "One Week" and "Pinch Me," there's a stronger poignant undercurrent to their songs lately; even if their sense of humor remains intact, it's more subdued and less silly. Still, Grinning Streak is a considerably fun album, full of bouncy pop-rock and folk tunes, beefed up with a slight electronic edge. While Robertson isn't as natural a singer as Page was (the combination of their voices is still missed), his penchant for writing catchy, heartfelt anthems with interesting arrangements results in an album you'll likely want to have in rotation this summer.

Best cuts: "Limits," "Boomerang," "Odds Are"


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