Saturday, April 23, 2011

30 Songs, 30 Days (2009 Edition), Day Twelve: Light Up My Room by Barenaked Ladies

One of the great misconception about this band of Canadians is that all they're good for is writing silly, witty pop songs. While the bulk of Barenaked Ladies' work is, well, fluffy--sort of like Squeeze on mood elevators (and that's meant in the best of all possible ways)--there's also a somewhat middling body of work which is darker and more melancholy in tone. Hell, these guys wrote "Pinch Me," which to me is one of the best representations of the tonally grey feeling people who suffer from chronic depression get, and "Call and Answer," a painfully sweet song about trying desperately to let go of a destructive lover...and failing yet again. They have this talent for cushioning the seriousness of their lyrics in a blanket of words that sounds on the surface to be their usual whimsey...but when you look at them closer, you realize the seriousness of the tales held within.

This isn't as dark as those songs--there are little glimmers of hope, like sparks that rise from a campfire--but I always thought this song had its own twilight taste. A song about making do when your resources are dwindling and your life partner is maybe eyeing the door, it benefits from the vocals of Ed Robertson, who sounds weary but won't let that weariness overtake him. It's prolly not the favorite track of a lot of people from Stunt--we are talking the album that produced both "One Week," "It's All Been Done" and the aforementioned "Call And Answer," after all--but it is a track that holds up after repeated listens.

Here's a video of Robertson doing a solo acoustic version of the song:

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