7 May 2013

Ben Folds Five - The Unauthorized Bigoraphy of Reinhold Messner

Whilst I knew who Ben Folds Five were, I was a little bit late to the party in some respects.  I had purchased the single "Battle Of Who Could Care Less" and then I didn't go any further.  Mainly because no shops in Newcastle had much of their stuff, what they did have I could not afford and the internet was still the creature of the military complex.  Many moons later when I did get into Mr Folds' musical realm and fell in love with his solo album 'Way To Normal' I remember being told to take my time with this album by one of my friends.  Actually that was by the two people at that point who I knew had a musical thing for Messer’s Folds, Sledge & Jessee.  Of course me being me, I went head first into this album without a care to what it would do to my musical landscape, mindset and budget at the time.  So what were the results.....

When this was released back in 1999, the band toured it and split up in 2000 (they have since gotten back together - hooray!!!!).  They were getting lots of positive reviews at the time and this was hailed as a brave album trying to forge its own sound against the background of nu-metal and other types of music.  It was different and a genuine alternative to what was popular at the time.  Now with lots of piano music some people will compare it to Elton John and others who pioneer the genre.  This was a game changer, this was BFF standing up and making as strong a statement as they could make.

This album actually have a couple of my favourite Ben Folds Five tracks on ( the wonder "Don't Change Your Plans For Me", "Army" and the ridiculous "Your Redneck Past"), plus one of my most favourite songs ever "Magic" which was written by Darren Jessee. So, on that score alone it is one of the most important albums I own.  But there is more to this record, it has a solo which is hard to ignore and does not want to be crushed.  It has melancholy, wit, laughter, tears, bombastic choruses, subtle hooks and overall - love. If you only listen to one Ben Folds Five album, it should be this one.  It might take time with some people, but for me it was love at first listen.  This is a short review, but I think it would be better if people tried this one themselves.  If you can listen to it today, there is the Spotify link below, or go out and purchase it.  Truly a classic in every sense of the word.

10 out of ten - This is proof that there is a God
You can purchase from here
You can visit the Ben Folds/Ben Folds Five website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here

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