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Ben Folds | Way To Normal

Epic (2008)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  September 23, 2008
1.5 1.5 Stars
When Ben Folds’s music was concerned with the aimlessness of a post-adolescent funk (think of the three records released by his Chapel Hill–based trio, Ben Folds Five, which yielded bouncy pop confections about growing up a bullying victim, wallowing in apathy, and joining the Army), it was clever, funny, and endearing. His recent string of solo albums has been burdened with an increasingly “mature” autobiography, and to these ears, his take on adulthood simply isn’t as interesting. His latest has his trademark mallet-fingered piano bangin’ and fuzz bass, but the songs — tales of bitter, bickering grown-ups and injury-sustaining rock stars — are loud tantrums of little consequence. And Way to Normal tries way too hard to be funny, whether it’s the Elton John joke (“Hiroshima (B-B-B-Benny Hit His Head)”), the wounded-male-ego misfire (“Bitch Went Nuts”), or the self-censored cuss song (“Effington”). Even Folds’s knack for a well-placed f-bomb has devolved into a lazy device masquerading as irreverence. His attitude may remain young at heart, but his irony’s over the hill.
Related: Photos: Ben Folds at the Orpheum, Putting the pop into the Pops, On the racks: May 16, 2006, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Ben Folds, Ben Folds Five, Elton John,  More more >
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Re: Ben Folds | Way To Normal
Thanks for the thoughts - I have yet to listen to the whole album, but I will do so with this blog in mind. In the meantime, check out the websiteI made for the album at //
By grinninglion on 09/26/2008 at 2:04:13
Let me say that I love Ben Folds.  The three Bf5 records as well as his first solo effort rank up there with my favorites of all time.  This thing, however, is sad . . . and not in a good "Evaporated" or "Last Polka" kind of way.  Long story short, don't waste your money.  Just buy "You Don't Know Me" on iTunes and you'll have all you need.
By joeytron on 10/21/2008 at 5:30:40

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