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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2010
From their very beginnings in the late 1980s, the Barenaked Ladies' songwriting and vocal duties have primarily been shared between co-founding members Steve Page and Ed Robertson. So, when Page left the band to pursue other interests in 2008 (first and foremost, creating solo material), a considerable gap hole left in the heart of the band. The guy behind many of the Ladies' most important, emotionally complex songs - "Break Your Heart", "What A Good Boy", "Everything Old Is New Again" - was no longer there.

Overcoming this tremendous loss was, naturally, quite a challenge for the band; it's no surprise, then, that a) despite strong material, his absence is still conspicuous to longtime fans; and that, b), much of the material deals with the ensuing emotional aftermath of his departure. But Robertson and co. do an admirable job of getting over this unfortunate hurdle, and deliver an LP of 14 songs that continue to straddle that same line between maturity and childlike playfulness that they have done so effortlessly for the past two decades.

Given Page's absence, it's no surprise that Robertson takes the majority of lead vocal roles; Opening track, and first single, "You Run Away", is no exception. It's one of the strongest rock ballads of the band's career. Building from a slight, calm, piano-driven opening to a climax that layers vocals, piano and guitar to deliver an explosively powerful message (it's no stretch to suggest the lyrics - "you run away, you could turn and stay, but you run away from me [..] I did my best, but it wasn't enough" is a reference to the strained relationship between Robertson and Page and their failure to hold the band together), it captures your attention immediately, and is their strongest single in years.

"Summertime" is an upbeat, catchy, pop-rock number; sounds like the perfect June single. "Four Seconds" is the track that runs closest to novelty - blending folk, Robertson's trademark hip-hop, alternative rock, and a delightfully meta Tyler-sung chorus of "one Mississippi! two Mississippi! three Mississippi! four!"

"Ordinary" is one of the strongest cuts on the album. Harmonised vocals, an obscenely catchy-yet-simple chorus ("it's come undone, done") and a brilliantly memorable folky melody. "I Have Learned" sees the band go a bit Foo Fighters, with a heavy guitar-driven chorus; while "Every Subway Car", second single from the album, is a brilliant mid-tempo rocker. Previously named "Graffiti Love", it's in the tradition of BNL songs about unlikely subjects - "When I Fall", "I Live With It Every Day" - on this occasion, a guy who demonstrates his love through street art on train cars.

"How Long" is a disappointingly generic rocker, but the brilliant catchy "Golden Boy" more than makes up for it - it recalls the finest moments of BLAM, with its driving chorus and wonderfully catchy vocal melodies. The lyrics may strike some as bitter about the Page situation - "just hang your hat at somebody's else's house" - but such emotion is natural in the aftermath of a split, and it'd be churlish to detract points for heartfelt emotion. "The Love We're In", Robertson's final contribution, is a sweet, slow, near-acoustic ballad whose simple, sweet chorus ("Why aren't we making the love we're in?") is gracefully backed by verses that deliver the amusing takes of traditional turns-of-phrase BNL are known for ("you crash the party, I'll crash the plane").

Robertson isn't the only guy to take on lead vocal duty, however: BNL remain a democracy. As such, "Another Heartbreak", track three, sees Kevin Hearn take the lead, on a strong tune that juxtaposes a calm chorus with angry verses. Hearn also shows up on "Jerome", the album's weakest track - a plodding, eerie tune about the "ghost town" in Arizona; his final contribution, the subdued, nighttime ballad "Watching The Northern Lights", is far stronger, and the perfect album closer. Regardless of the varied quality of his contributions, while some fans don't enjoy his particular vocal stylings - they're surprisingly calm and sweet - they add texture and diversity to the album.

Jim Creeggan's contributed just two songs, meanwhile, but both are stellar: the moody "On the Lookout", with its soulful chorus; and album standout "I Saw It", a marvellous, harmony-laden ballad, with ambiguous lyrics that can be read in both light-hearted and disturbingly heartbreaking ways. It's the unexpected standout on an surprisingly strong album.

Barenaked Ladies fanatics will pick this album up without question, and rightfully so; to those relatively unacquainted with the band, I'd advise checking out earlier recordings that featured Page material too, but this is a solid starting point, and those who only know the Ladies for "One Week" or "Brian Wilson" will probably be pleasantly surprised by the diversity of material on offer here.

(The album is available with various bonus tracks from various sources: "Moonstone", "All in Good Time", "She Turned Away", "Let There Be Light". All are solid, but acquiring them all is quite a task - you'll have to make multiple downloads and do some importing - and the band say the songs will be available as a separate digital EP at some point later this year, so you'd do as well to wait.)

Grade: A-
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2010
As a long time fan of the band ( and owner of just about all their previous releases) I was aware that this was going to be a difficult purchase. As their first release following the departure of enigmatic front man Steven Page it marks a new era and to be honest one where, for me at least, there is something missing.

Maybe its a bit more mature or a little bit darker but this album misses some of the fun of most of the previous releases. Perhaps this is a reflection on what they have come through.

Dont get me wrong - it is still a good album but as a fan of previous work it doesnt quite meet the incredibly high bar they previously set.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 14 April 2010
If I was to write reviews for all of the Barenaked Ladies' previous albums, my Amazon profile would be filled with reviews rated 5 stars - I love their quirky folk-rock sound and their crazy lyrics. Over the past 15 years or so I've listened to their albums literally thousands of times. They are probably my favourite band of all time. So when I heard that one half of the lead vocals, Steve Page had left the band, I was devastated. All In Good Time is the first album without Page and after playing it quite a lot over the last few weeks, I will say it is....different.

Not necessarily a bad different but certainly not what I would have expected. Ed Robertson is the lead vocalist on a majority of the songs. I've always preferred him to Page (well, the songs where Robertson is the lead are usually my favourites) but without Page the variety, even if it is just a few "laaaa's" in the chorus, is lost a little and can become a bit repetitive after a while. It is a lot more grown-up sounding too - there are still some of their more upbeat tracks like "Four Seasons" and "Summertime" but there's nothing really in the style of "One Week", "Another Postcard" or "Get In Line" here.

Kevin Hearn takes the lead on 3 tracks - "Watching the Northern Lights" (my personal favourite from the album, and is very similar to "Here Come The Geese") and "Another Heartbreak". These tracks are very mellow and flow nicely whereas "Jerome" is more just a bit of fun. Jim Creeggan also leads on "On The Lookout" and "I Saw It" - both are good tracks but nothing spectacular. The first single "You Run Away" is hardly a classic but is still an great song - one that really grew on me after a couple of listens.

This is a very good album - the more I listen to it, the more I like it. However it lacks the fun and uniqueness that made BNL so different to other bands. I'm giving this album a 3.5 star rating as it isn't the classic I'd been hoping for but is still one of the best albums I've heard in 2010. I'm just looking forward to hearing what Steve Page's solo project is like now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2010
many of the reviews I read go on about "oh Steve left and they're not the same" well no i guess they're not, but that's not as bad as they make out.

The only other album I have is Stunt and whilst it's not as up beat any bouncy I think it is just as good, and those who think they've lost it since the new line up just don't like change.

The album works well and flows, obviously I have favourites but wouldn't say there's any weak songs on the disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This Album is actually amazing. It shows the Barenaked Ladies can still go strong without Steven Page, and in some ways the new direction they have gone in really compliments their style. It is more grown up and heartfelt than anything we've heard from them before, and it definitely worth a listen whether you are a new or existing BNL fan!

Note to amazon: you realise this album was actually released today on Itunes?? Why no love from amazon??
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on 3 June 2011
I heard this album a few times before I decided to buy it. The first time I heard it, I didnt really like it as much as their other earlier stuff. There seemed to be a huge gap where Steven Page had left and the music didnt hit the same emotional notes that I really like about them.
Because I was dissapointed I left it for a bit then had a re-listen. What I noticed was that although you can tell Steven has left, the band seems to have grown up. The actual music is better and at times it is more technical than their older stuff. A couple of songs also have a bit of a Foo Fighterishness about them, which I've gotta say does work well.
I bought the album after a few listens and it is a grower, there are a couple of songs which are REALLY GREAT, and a couple which are not so good, but thats pretty much what my experience of BNL has been... the songs I love, I Love and the couple Im not keen on I dont notice so much.
The main point is give it a couple of listens, get used to the lack of Steven and once you do its not that much of a loss, good first album without him, so I'll be waiting for their next one :)
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on 6 December 2010
With a CD collection that has everything BNL has produced I waited before buying this one then finally bit the bullet. To be honest without Steven Page BNL have lost there "quirkiness" and have become another MOR band. They are good, this album is good it's just not special the band appear to have lost "it".
My preferred BNL style is Gordon, Pirate Ship, Stunt and Everything to Everyone, I never really thought BLAM x 2 was as good and to little old me this another BLAM style album.
Having bought this on the back of the tour, they are still a great live band, I took a punt on the Steven Page album First Page. If like me you prefer the unique style of the old 5 piece BNL I urge you to give First Page a try, its still not as good as the BNL we loved and lost but it is suprior to All In Good Time.
BNL - Must try harder.
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on 9 July 2010
All in Good Time is the album us BNL fans have been waiting for. Sure you can bash on about the lack of Steve's voice, but forget that and remember all the other good stuff you already knew about BNL. It's all here! Infectious, tight songs with clever lyrics abound.

Ed has found a new gear in songwriting/performing, Kevin has a beautiful chilled out number in 'Watching the Northern Lights', and Jim has 2 seriously impressive songs and a smooth voice too. True to BNL you'll even find a curve ball or two. Watch out for 'Four Seconds', it will kick you in the pants when you aren't looking ;o)

I love this album. Forget those worries, sit back and enjoy!
All In Good Time
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2010
The band's first Steven Page-less album and unfortunately it shows. Whilst there are some good songs - Summertime, Four Seconds and the pointed 'You ran away', the band seem to have lost that playfulness, sense of fun and word interplay in songs that makes some of their earlier work stand out from the crowd. Hard to determine if this will be a successful new direction for them.
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on 22 April 2015
This is a marvellous collection of songs, some of which are soft and melodic, some lively, and several contain the quirky lyrics that BNL are famous for. Four Seconds starts off sounding as if you might be listening to an old record on a gramophone - very unusual and effective. The highlights for this listener are mainly the livelier songs: Every Subway Car, Jerome, and How Long. I Saw It, one of the softer songs, is another highlight.

Overall, there isn't a single song on this collection that I don't like and, with four highlights, I consider it worthy of five stars.
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