Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CD Odyssey Disc 77: Bif Naked

The next step in the Odyssey is a return to good old fashioned Canadian rock.

Disc 77 is...Essentially Naked

Artist: Bif Naked

Year of Release: 2003

How I Came To Know It: This is one of Sheila's discs. We both heard the song "I Love Myself Today" and liked it - Sheila liked it enough to buy this album.

How It Stacks Up: Although not called "best of" or "greatest hits" that is what this CD is. Therefore, you will know it cannot stack up since "best ofs" can't be compared to true albums. Not that I could compare, as this is the only Bif Naked we've got.

Rating: no ratings for best ofs. It just encourages them. Having said that, I like it.

Bif Naked is a Canadian rocker right in the pocket of hard rock. I think she is from Vancouver, but I only think that because I once saw her do a MuchMusic special where she went shopping with a fan in that city. Maybe she just lives there now.

Watching Bif dote on her dog was unpleasant - it was a very empty Hollywood-like moment - or so you might think if that's all you saw.

But the truth is, Bif Naked strikes me as a very real rocker. In fact, on this album she has a poem (more on that later) called "Eine Tasse Tea" which is a rant that gets going when one of her dogs eats a homeless man's feces. Toy dog or not - that's rock and roll right there.

This album covers a span from 1994 to 2003. Originally, I thought I preferred the songs from 2001 and later, but on my second listen, I realized I liked stuff from throughout her career.

Bif Naked rocks hard, but she also has pop and punk sensibilities at times. Sometimes her lyrics are a little over-raw in a "fifteen year old's poetry" kind of way. Again - this sounds like it would be bad at first blush, but it isn't. It is just Bif Naked is not afraid to show her emotional side and I think this adds to her music.

I'm not sure I'd start a conversation with her that way, mind you. Bif might have a soft side, but she's also tough as nails. I have no doubt whatsoever she could kick my ass.

This album is great in places, but average in others. At her best, Bif Naked is in the fine tradition of Pat Benetar and Debbie Harry. Yet there are songs where the pop-arrangements make one think a little of Avril Lavigne. She also does spoken word poetry, but she's no Henry Rollins. Luckily, this is not too often.

The best song on here is the 5 star anthem, "I Love Myself Today" which is a great rejection of self-loathing:

"I love myself today
Not like yesterday
I'm cool, I'm calm
I'm gonna get my way

This song rocks out - and in addition to being a great break-up song, it is a great driving song. There are others in like spirit, such as 2001's "Leader" but none nail it like this modern day classic.

A couple of real complaints here that relate more to the album's presentation.

first of all, this album starts with a couple pretty good tracks "Rich and Filthy" and "Back in the Day", released in 2003. These are new songs that aren't on other records - meaning if you were a loyal Bif Naked fan and in 2003 already had all her records, you'd have to buy this "best of" just to get these. That ain't right. In fact, Great Big Sea tried pulling this on me a few years back and I don't think I've bought one of their albums since.

Also, this album has 3 remixes of 3 of her bigger hits ("Spaceman", "Lucky" and "I Love Myself Today"). However all these are is the original song spiced up with a backbeat that sound like they'd fit into some nineties singles dance club. Not a wise decision.

This particular album also comes with a DVD which is not like most music DVDs that come with albums these days (in that it doesn't suck, or make me go on-line to use it). This one is just all her music videos over the years. Since it was an Odyssey I gave these a watch as well, last night. A lot of them are of the concert footage variety - and really show what a fun show it would be.

They definitely reminded me how hot Bif Naked is as well (as though the album's cover wouldn't have done that). She's a babe - and all those tattoos just make her look even sexier.

Not that I would start a conversation with her that way, mind you. She could as easily kick my ass as be flattered. Then again...I think I'd take the chance.

Sheila tells me Bif has been battling cancer. Based on this record, I think she's got something more to offer the world, and I hope she sticks around for a good many years. Hang in there, Bif. In the meantime, I might actually go out and buy some more of her music, based on this little sampling.

Best tracks: Rich and Filthy, I Love Myself Today, Leader, Twitch (many other goods as well, but these are my favourites).

1 comment:

MC K-Mac said...

Serena from motherSun (a band I used to play in) used to work at a Vancouver studio/rehearsal space that Bif Naked (and Nickelback) used regularly. Apparently she's got a bit of a chip on her shoulder - or at least did back then (this would've been around 2001 or so).