That the Barenaked Ladies finally exploded in the U.S. was no surprise. What was surprising was that it happened with One Week -- hardly their best composition, and a rather misleading introduction to their back catalogue. Worse, its success seems to have influenced the band's entire approach.
While Maroon possesses all the qualities that make the group great -- sharp melodies, terrific harmonies and Steven Page, who could sing the bloody Yellow Pages and sound awesome -- it lacks ballads. And that's always been the Ladies' secret weapon against those who sought to dismiss them as lightweights.
The sentiments expressed on this record may be heavy, but the upbeat tone doesn't provide the necessary grounding. Listen back to their old records. The buoyant These Apples leaves no imprint; the ballad Am I The Only One still tears your heart from your chest. That pattern has been repeated successfully up to Maroon. Sure, this is above-average pop. But when you know the range of Barenaked Ladies, you can't help but wish they'd pulled the heart-strings just a little harder.