The first person narrative has long been a device in rock music. So whether it is self proclamation (“Get Back Up”) or explanation (“Say What You Want”) or reclamation (“Piece Of Cake”) the only question to ask: Is the Barenaked Ladies road still worth travelling?
It sort of depends on where your music tastes start and stop. Silverball leans heavily on the pleasant sounds of the eighties, happily playing in a mix of Huey Lewis & the News, Katrina & the Waves, and the Live Aid era pop that saw the dangerous (Jagger & Bowie) become outrageous as they danced in the streets. Sure, “Get Back Up” is a song that looks at the band as having nothing left to prove, but that doesn’t mean nothing left to say.
In the Barenaked Ladies world growing older doesn’t mean much more than gaining perspective. When Robertson sings “maybe we got much better at looking at the others heart” on “Hold My Hand” it’s a gentle reminder to a partner that not only is everything golden, but that he wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s these kinds of personal reflections that give the record a good natured charm.
Silverball is good, really good in fact. It’s well produced, the lyrics are meaningful and you can play it in the background on a Saturday afternoon with a few friends gathered in your backyard as the bbq burns a few hot dogs. Which really, if Silverball has a point, it’s that after all these years it’s just fine to live for the little things.