It was only a matter of time before the return of the sensitive singer-songwriter. However, the 1990s style requires that the introspection be broken up with a little tomfoolery. Sebadoh are masters of the game. Lou Barlow... more » is the inquisitive and earnest leader who delivers the heartfelt "Not a Friend" and "Together or Alone" with all the hurt and pain he can fit on his sleeve. Jason Loewenstein is the guy with the captivating guitar line. Put together, they're something like Donny and Marie--one is a little bit sensitive, the other a little bit rock 'n' noise. And just to prove they're a democracy, they give drummer Bob Fay some with his lone composition, the surprisingly tuneful "Temptation Tide." --Rob O'Connor« less
It was only a matter of time before the return of the sensitive singer-songwriter. However, the 1990s style requires that the introspection be broken up with a little tomfoolery. Sebadoh are masters of the game. Lou Barlow is the inquisitive and earnest leader who delivers the heartfelt "Not a Friend" and "Together or Alone" with all the hurt and pain he can fit on his sleeve. Jason Loewenstein is the guy with the captivating guitar line. Put together, they're something like Donny and Marie--one is a little bit sensitive, the other a little bit rock 'n' noise. And just to prove they're a democracy, they give drummer Bob Fay some with his lone composition, the surprisingly tuneful "Temptation Tide." --Rob O'Connor
Dan S. (ChasSand) from WASHINGTON, DC Reviewed on 10/29/2014...
I'm no Sebadoh expert, but this is the first album of theirs that I've heard, and its my favorite. Because of that, I might classify it as their most accessible. Lou Barlow sure knows how to do a lot of different stuff. It has their weirdness, but its also catchy and pretty rockin.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Brian E. from RACINE, WI Reviewed on 4/28/2010...
Solid Sebadoh effort with some of the best songs from the band like the bittersweet "Magnet's Coil" with a lot of angry curses and alternately sweet talk to address confusion and fights between a couple. "Not a Friend" is an awesome tune about a friend wanting to move on from "crippled conversations" from a season of life friend with brutal honesty and self-loathing loser attitude which is Lou's trademark in these days. Lou's songs are straightforward lyrically and relatable with a lot of personal political issues.Lou's great clean mid tempo pop "Skull" closes side 1 with a great passion, delivery and (a rare) positive attitude. Jason Lowenstein's songs rock more than Lou's like the driving "Careful" and the brooding slow-moving angst of "Not too Amused", but lack the great subject of Lou's lyrics. Side 2 isn't as strong as side 1, but highlights appear like Lou's "Rebound", "Together or Alone" and the interesting contribution from new drummer Bob Fay, "Temptation Tide". My favorite Jason tune from side 2 is "Drama Mine" with some great screaming."Got it" from Jason is another great contribution that is a little more pop than rock. In essence this album has a lot of strong songs from Sebadoh...which is sort of amazing for a band with so much filler. "I've a got a license to confuse."
Paul Kath | Canada | 06/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This actually is one of the best albums Sebadoh would release. The music and sound is totally laid-back compared to something like Bubble and Scrape or Smash your head on the Punk Rock. One reviewer said it was a "subtle pop classic" and that is the exact definition of the album itself. It's way more subtle and easier then other Sebadoh albums.This actually had the first Sebadoh tune I've heard and this is the second last album I bought. The song was Skull and I heard it in the opener of the skateboarding video Anthology (by Transworld magazine). I liked the song at the beginning and thought it flowed really well with what was going on. I would later find out after about 2 years that it was from one of my favorite bands. Even though this is way more relaxed then the other albums, it doesn't mean that Lou won't deliver some harsh (But cynical) lyrics and some pretty powerful songs. Tunes like Careful, License to confuse, Not a friend and Magnet's Coil all have a unique sound with some very, very good lyrics. Careful is almost devastating to hear but it's all so simple at the end. Not a Friend is something we all can relate too sometimes with friendships. License to Confuse is just 2 minutes of cynsism from Lou. Magnet's Coil isn't as harsh as most of the album, but the opening base line is extremely catchy. Then there's the easier songs with the easier sound. Skull, Got it, S Soup, Rebound, Dramamine and Together or Alone. Together or Alone just gives me a feeling of emptyness but it's a great song. Skull is the first song I heard from Sebadoh, great tune but nothing to crank. Rebound is just awesome. S Soup and Dramamine somehow connect within listens. One song that sticks out though is Give Up. Starts off like a heavy metal track then goes right into the normal Sebadoh type ranting. It's my favorite track on the album next to Careful and Not a Friend.Totally recommended for some great songs with even better lyrics. I wish Sebadoh were still around...."
Lou Barlow is my pagan god!
Cornelius | Lafayette, Louisiana | 01/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the Pantheon of classic lo-fi albums, Bakesale ranks as the greatest ever recorded. Lou Barlow's songwriting is pristine (as always) and Jason Loewenstein finally comes into his own as a wonderful songwriter (his song "S. Soup" is in a class by itself). Sebadoh paved the way for indie rock, and this is their high water mark. In short, if you love the rock and roll music, Bakesale is a must."
Life changing album
D. Hurst | Chicago, IL United States | 05/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sebadoh's Bakesale is definitely one of the best albums of all time. The band is unusually collabrative, pumping out a collection of songs that fit together so well it could almost be considered a concept album. Just when you've had enough of Lou Barlow's sensitive whining, Jason Lowenstein takes over and pelts out one of his raucus tunes. This is the most cohesive they ever sounded. If you buy just one Sebadoh album get this one."
A perfect album?
jeff matz | Chicago, Il. USA, north america, west hemisphere, | 10/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"here's the deal.....bands evolve, they change, and though the sebadoh that is heard on bakesale is very different from the sebadoh on a say, III, or even bubble and scrape, it is still one of the finest bands out there. bakesale is an incredibly cohesive effort, its not at all schizophrenic like some of the earlier work....lou tackles the personal issues here, self image, love and loss, etc. i think the thing that makes the album so good however, is that jason's songs are finally fully realized and fully listenable. it seemed before he was always just a record behind lou, but here, he really comes into his own, in fact, penning the albums best tune (s. soup) of course the lou stuff is great too: check out not a friend, skull, and together or alone.....i've probably listened to this album once a week since i first bought it my freshman year of h.s....and i didn't exactly whip through college. timeless stuff."