Ben Folds - Way to Normal PDF Print E-mail
New Albums - Rock & Indie Rock Albums
Written by TK   

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Ben Folds has built his career, and that of his former band Ben Folds Five, on roaring and powerful piano-based rock with the odd ironic ballad thrown in for good measure. It is hard to imagine that anyone has belted the piano like Ben Folds since the era of Fats Waller and Scott Joplin.

This formula works well to a point, but then perhaps becomes a bit wearing, especially on Ben Folds’ more world-hating, heavier tracks. Ben Folds’ down-tempo tunes always strike a chord with you though. New album "Way to Normal" has a pretty even-handed mix of both the hard and soft. Starting in exemplary fashion with the instantly catchy "Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)", and moving to "The Frown Song" which is similarly captivating, the album peaks with "Cologne" which is as close to Ben Folds Five’s hit-classic "Brick" as Ben Folds has come.  
Ben Folds is famous for his ability for, and propensity towards, self-deprecation. There is no greater proof of this self-deprecation than in his note in the album sleeve − “if this record is great, it is a testament to the quality of the people in my life... I will however take responsibility for any possible overlooked moments of less-than-greatness that may exist on this album”. This is what makes Ben Folds likeable, a complete an utter disdain for taking himself seriously, which is quite peculiar in these self-obsessed times.
Which goes to the root of it all really − Ben Folds is as alternative as his tunes.

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