Bif Naked as part of Snow Jam at Exhibition Place (Sunday, September 23) at 4:15 pm. $10.21-$20. 416-870-8000.
easy loosenin' and let go of the bowels. That's the paraphrased dictionary definition of "purge," which also happens to be the title of Bif Naked's new CD. The album is far from a work of artistic profundity, sounding a lot like the peepin's, maybe roarin's, of contract requirements. Using rock's standard four-chord structure and laden with lyrics about loneliness, it's a softer, tenderer version of previous albums. But the emotional and aggressive charge of old that brought Bif Naked into the Canadian quasi-punk scene is missing.
Not that Naked has been known for her exceptional songs. But she's been in the music biz for more than a decade, so one might have hoped for an improvement.
"I'm really into house music, and I try to get as many dance mixes as possible," explains Naked from her tour bus in Quebec. She plays Snow Jam at Exhibition Place on Sunday. "I try to include every genre of music, and my wish is that the Purge album stays true to the mixed style I've always had."
Weird, then, that I Love Myself Today is the only song that digresses from the straight-up four-chord formula dominating the rest of the album. It's the first single from Purge, co-written with two hit doctors who've been the culprits behind many of the Aerojovi-ish songs that have plagued our lives.
"After we finished the album, the opportunity to work with Desmond Child and Eric Bazilian came up, and I jumped at it," Naked explains about the birth of the Bonsmithish song.
Which isn't to say that an artist has to stagnate and fester forever in her or his roots, but it feels like whatever deviation Naked's made from her past comes not from artistic maturity but from financial motivation -- like making what she thinks will sell.
Still, there's no denying that the punk goddess and role model to young girls is one damn sexy mama who can sing with a serious amount of presence and charisma. And she knows it.
"I try to be a better performer for every show, and I feel I'm evolving professionally," divulges Naked. "I'm 32 now, been touring for 12 to 13 years and have been doing touring cycles of three to four years, which may seem like a lot, but I love it. Performing is my favourite thing."