Filled with clever lyrics that range from the blatantly cynical to the mildly romantic, Born on a Pirate Ship offers more of the same musical fun the Barenaked Ladies put forth on their debut CD, Gordon, and its follow-up,... more » Maybe You Should Drive. From the manic ravings of "Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank," a musical exploration of celebrity-stalking, to the bluesy lament of "Break Your Heart," BNL serve up a musical complexity and rare intelligence that separate them from the pack of mostly acoustic bands who dominate radio playlists. Highlights include "The Old Apartment," and anthem about trying to recapture lost youth and "When I Fall," a haunting song about a professional window washer. While it lacks some of the raw energy of their earlier releases, Born on a Pirate Ship is still a fine offering, and the ECD clips are worth the price of the disc. --L.A. Smith« less
Filled with clever lyrics that range from the blatantly cynical to the mildly romantic, Born on a Pirate Ship offers more of the same musical fun the Barenaked Ladies put forth on their debut CD, Gordon, and its follow-up, Maybe You Should Drive. From the manic ravings of "Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank," a musical exploration of celebrity-stalking, to the bluesy lament of "Break Your Heart," BNL serve up a musical complexity and rare intelligence that separate them from the pack of mostly acoustic bands who dominate radio playlists. Highlights include "The Old Apartment," and anthem about trying to recapture lost youth and "When I Fall," a haunting song about a professional window washer. While it lacks some of the raw energy of their earlier releases, Born on a Pirate Ship is still a fine offering, and the ECD clips are worth the price of the disc. --L.A. Smith
"The Barenaked Ladies have a clever style. Super vocal harmonies and snappy arrangements highlight many of their recordings. Whereas Born On A Pirate Ship is certainly strong in the above mentioned categories, the songs are truly hit and miss.The Old Apartment, Break Your Heart, and Shoebox are clearly the highlights of this CD. Love the steady rock beat of Apartment and Break Your Heart features an outstanding lead vocal by Stephen Paige. Shoebox is a jolly pop tune with fine harmonies.However, the remaining other songs are either OK or really nothing too special. In The Drink is a little interesting but does drag on a little too long. Oh yes the arrangements are quite clever but the melody on Spider In My Room is fairly unmemorable and even annoying. Same Thing is oh so bland. Other songs like Stomache vs Heart sound like inferior versions of better tunes by this band.Truthfully, purchase Stunt, then Maroon or even Rock Spectacle but you can certainly live without Born On A Pirate Ship."
My least favorite BNL Album....and it still gets four stars!
Richard J Duke | 05/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"BNL is my favorite band, and although this is my least favorite album, it is only because when you get goofy like me and rate all this stuff, something always has to be at the bottom. Still, this is a great collection of the Ladies' songs. My favorites are "Break Your Heart" where the character in the song is trying to end a relationship without feeling the guilt that always comes with being the breaker-upper. "I Live With It Every Day" is something to behold as it changes styles without breaking the mood of the piece. "Straw Hat And Old Dirty Hank" is probably my favorite because of the definitely creepy subject matter. This is a great album, but purchase "Stunt" or "Gordon" first to see if this is the band for you."
I didn't mean to Break Your Heart
Jason Flum | East Windsor, NJ United States | 08/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge BNL fan. Have been for about 4 years now. I have all six of their CDS. My absolute favorite song of theirs, "Break Your Heart," is on this disc. While it may not be quite as raw as the version on "Rock Spectacle," it's an incredible song and that alone makes the disc worthy of the 5 stars. Whereas some of the songs on here, I feel, are not the best songs by BNL (ie. "Spider in My Room" and "Same Thing") this disc has some absolutely inccredible songs: the aforementioned "Break Your Heart," the sad and touching "When I Fall," the rocking "Old Apartment," the troubling "I Live With It Everyday" and the very cathcy "This Is Where It Ends" For any BNL fan, this disc is worth having. If you're one of those who got into BNL as a result of "Stunt" or "Maroon" and are looking to buy an older CD, first get "Rock Spetacle" and "Gordon" -- then come looking for this and "Maybe You Should Drive" -- not that these are at all bad CDs - the first two just happen to be more consistantly better."
I Find Something New Each Listen
tomthedog | 03/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, the title: hold your tongue when you say it. (I'll give you a hint: "pirate" is meant to sound like "pile of".)I was prepared to say that this is my least favorite BNL album, and certainly it's the one I've listened to the least, but... each time I do listen to it, some subtlety, some previously undiscovered nuance, some secret meaning jumps out at me and blows me away.It first happened when I realized that "Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank," a bouncy little tune, was actually about a stalker hunting down the object of his obsession. Much deeper and disturbing than I had guessed. Cool! Then I realized "I Live With It Every Day" was about a man haunted by a friend he had (accidentally?) killed when he was a child. Pretty obvious, but I had never really listened to the lyrics. Then -- hey, "Call Me Calmly" is actually a hooker talking to a john! How clever is that? "When I Fall" (which I think is the most beautiful song ever from BNL) is about a window washer! And (this one took the longest to register) "Just a Toy" -- it's about a lifeless puppet in Gepetto's workshop, fiercely jealous of all the affection the living Pinocchio is getting! ("Look at his face, somewhat like mine/But look at his nose, you can always be sure that he's lying... I call him liar, you call him son/If I could move, I'd set him on fire and I'd run.") That one still amazes me. What level is your brain working on to come up with a song like that?A lot of people call this the best BNL album -- mostly because, I think, it was the first one those people had ever heard. "Shoe Box" was played on Friends and appeared on the Friends soundtrack, "The Old Apartment" had a video directed by Jason Priestly, BNL showed up on Beverly Hills 90210 to sing it... and suddenly people everywhere were on the BNL bandwagon.I'm not saying they're wrong for liking this album. But it's certainly not the best thing BNL has ever done. While there are a number of stunning tracks here, Pirate Ship is not nearly as fun as Gordon, Maybe You Should Drive, or Stunt, nor nearly as consistent. I don't want to make it sound like I can only appreciate the fun tracks, or that I can't accept darker or more challenging songs from BNL. "Straw Hat," "Just a Toy," and "When I Fall" are different and darker than many other BNL tunes (you always worry that window washer is going to jump), and they're as good as BNL gets. It's just that some of the songs ("Call Me Calmly" or "Same Thing," for example) simply don't come together the way their best work does; they're far more clever in conception than they are enjoyable in their execution.I do think I'll be listening to this album more often. This may still be my least favorite BNL album... but it's still better than most anything else."
Brian | 08/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's quite possible that "Born On A Pirate Ship" is least among BNL fans because it has this sense of professionalism that "Gordon" and "Maybe You Should Drive" did not. Clearly the songs seem to be edited more precisely and the songs get more to the point instead of having fun and not pointing to one topic in the song. Although this might be one of BNL's more professional releases, it still has some very humorous points to it. The starting track, 'Stomach Vs. Heart,' is a song that deals with the thought of love being able to be digested in the matter minutes. 'Straw Hat And Old Dirty Hank' talks of a farm boy falling in love with a city girl. Despite constant rejection, the farm boy continues to try before finding out that his love is made up of nothing but greed and personal gain. ' I Know' is one of many BNL songs that talks of many ranging issues from Jesus to dating. Although the song is meant to be sung by an old-fashioned father refusing to let his daughter date, the song has some odd funny points. For instance, the part of liking Jesus because of his sandals. 'This Is Where It Ends' is one of many serious songs on BOAPS. 'When I Fall' talks of a high-rise window washer being afraid of heights. An oxymoron itself, the subject is oddly serious and for a single moment, the listener may think the window washer is about to jump. 'I Live With It Everyday' is a song that has no funny points at all. The serious subject talks of the emotions a person carries with him/her for the rest of their life after accidentally killing someone. 'The Old Apartment' is one of few simple songs on BOAPS. This alone probably made it popular, and is a great song. It humorous, entertaining, and simple. 'Break Your Heart' is a song a couple could slow dance to until Steve bursts out and screams parts of the lyrics. 'Spider In My Room' is another funny song that I love! The beginning is great and I love the singing voice! 'Shoebox' is probably the most popular song of BOAPS to fans, and rightly so! The subject is creative, deep, and interesting!"