Relentlessly intelligent music that happens to marry great hooks to very smart lyrics. The songs range from volcanic anger (Erase Me) to ballads (On Being Frank) and it's all very fine. Draw a Crowd will embarrass you because you may find yourself singing it in public and get to the chorus and have to mumble a particular section. But it's all worth it. The Sound of the Life of the Mind....who could write such a great song about a girl who wants to learn and escape her town, making learning such an attractive prospect? Ben Folds is a major talent. Highly recommended.
It's been a while since BF5 released a record... 13 years, in fact. Since then, Mr. Folds has continued to released consistenly good solo cds and collaborative efforts. With this release, I'm most definitely aware that this IS Ben Folds Five record, except that the quality of the recording/mix belies the success Mr. Folds' solo career has made it possible for him to now achieve. I met Ben and Co. in NYC the night they were showcasing for Sony at Brownie's back in '96. He's certainly come a looong way. But with this record, it sounds like the band simply froze themselves in time. It may not be worth the 13 year wait... but using Chinese Democracy as a benchmark, this may be the comeback cd of the millenium!
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