Marked Melody

April 8, 2009

Ben Folds – Way to Normal

Filed under: Pop rock — Alisa Hathaway @ 3:58 pm


Anybody remember a little band named Ben Folds Five? I bet you do.  Ben Folds has been putting out music for fifteen years or so now, and I personally think he’s an artist that had gotten better with time.  Thought we can remember the mid-90s tunes “Brick” and “Kate” with fondness, let’s look to the present.

Presently, Folds’ new work Way to Normal is pretty darn good. Sweeping, exciting piano rock and razor sharp lyrics. Exactly what you would expect from a guy who created The Bens with himself, Ben Kweller, and Ben Harper and who also produced the first solo album from Dresden Dolls’ aggressive frontwoman Amanda Palmer. In fact, that might be the one criticism I can reserve for this album – it sounds exactly like everything else Ben Folds has put out. Sure, he’s brilliant, and the album includes moment of sheer genius like “Free Coffee,” “Effington,” and “Kylie from Connecticut.”  Regina Spektor lends her spectacular vocals to “You Don’t Know Me,” about a couple who’s been together for too long and no longer care about each other.  Way to Normal is undoubtedly a good record. It’s fun to listen to, and so many bands get swamped in their “art” that fun songs can become a rarity.

But, Mr. Ben Folds, I beseech you. Try something new. I hear they’ve invented a few more instruments since the piano got big.

Give the album a listen if you’re down with The Rocket Summer, the aforementioned Ben Kweller, or the yet again also mentioned Dresden Dolls.

Here’s a video for “You Don’t Know Me” directed by Tim and Eric (Of Tim and Eric, Awesome Show, Great Job.)

Peruse the official site here


1 Comment »

  1. […] It’s the NBC network’s answer to the hype Fox is cashing in on with shows like American Idol and Glee. Nobody’s denying it anymore – the musical is back in force as mainstream entertainment, and the drooling public is rarely impressed anymore if you can’t act AND sing AND dance all at once. And no matter how hard I try to ignore it, “reality” TV is still ruling primetime. So why not combine the two? Hosted by Nick Lachey (why yes, sir, this is what your career has become), The Sing-Off pit eight acapella singing groups against each other for a Sony recording contract and a cash prize. The groups included a range of ages and styles, including Latin, barbershop, girly pop, gospel, and something I can only describe as frat rock. The judges included semicelebrities what’s-his-face from Boys II Men, the only Pussycat Doll that mattered, and a personal favorite of mine, Ben Folds. […]

    Pingback by The Sing-Off! « Marked Melody — December 22, 2009 @ 4:05 am

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