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Rockin' the Suburbs

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Audio CD, September 11, 2001
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Annie Waits 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Zak And Sara 3:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Still Fighting It 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Gone 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Fred Jones Part 2 3:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Ascent Of Stan 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Losing Lisa 4:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Carrying Cathy 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Not The Same 4:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Rockin' The Suburbs 4:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Fired 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Luckiest 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Rockin' the Suburbs + Whatever And Ever Amen (Remastered Edition) + Ben Folds Five (180 Gram Vinyl)
Price for all three: $36.38

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Epic
  • ASIN: B00005NZKK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,233 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description



On the evidence of Rockin' the Suburbs, Ben Folds's decision to jettison the two-piece Five that had backed him on four largely excellent albums has not resulted in any significant shift in trajectory. The Ben Folds Five were only getting better, gradually discovering the confidence not to hide their musical uniqueness (there have been too few piano-led power trios) and lyrical intelligence behind undergrad Barenaked Ladies-style gags. Songs like "Mess" and "Brick" signaled an extraordinary new songwriting talent worthy of comparison to Folds's obvious idols, Elvis Costello and Paul Simon. Only this album's title track harkens back to Folds's fondness for comedy, and it is by far the weakest track here. The rest is mournful, reflective, and, at best, quite magnificent. Folds's hymns to his family, "Still Fighting It" and "The Luckiest" are shot through with an honesty that's rare in alternative rock. The acerbic essence of character sketches such as "Carrying Cathy," "Losing Lisa," and "Zak & Sara" are leavened with a generous compassion. Folds's second solo effort is his best album yet. The remainder of his career must be anticipated with equal parts expectation and impatience. --Andrew Mueller

Customer Reviews

His songs tell a story and draw you in to his world.
The title track "Rockin the Suburbs," is perhaps the weakest track on the entire album, and it's still a good song.
Mike Medvesky
Ben Folds' lyrics and beautiful piano work make this album absolutely magnificent.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Ciany on September 29, 2001
Format: Audio CD
In the 70's, I and many a peer were captivated by the music and genius of Todd Rundgren- a kid who exploded onto the scene as part of the group Nazz with searing, psychedelic phased guitar riffs that paid tribute to British Invasion groups like the Who and Cream. Todd went on to rule the studio, playing every instrument, singing all vocals, and putting his musical ideas and idioms to vinyl with an indelible personal stamp. Much to his credit on Rockin' The Suburbs, Ben Folds proves himself to be a modern-day Todd, sprouting beautiful melodies, edgy accomplished instrumentation, and vignettes that paint musical landscapes of everyday life and the people who flow in and out of it. Ben's magic lies in his juxtaposition of sad, borderline-existential lyrics with exuberant, happy melodies. Throughout it all, he weaves the underlying melancholy of time marching on to the beat of the young growing old. The album features eleven tracks, each as inspiring as the next:
The pop hubris of "Annie Waits", handclaps and all- a Billy-Joel-sounding anthem that finds Annie waiting for a friend who, like Godot, never shows.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Seuthe on September 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The breakup of Ben Folds Five was very disconcerting for their many fans. After their third album, which some consider their best, the disbanding was a terrible shame. Fortunately, Folds' talent still shines without the aid of Darren Jesse and Robert Sledge, the other two musicians who completed the trio Ben Folds Five. Folds' songwriting seems stronger and more consistent on this album. The subjects he chooses to focus on, though, remain the same, the crafting, however improves. The vast majority of the songs are character studies, which focus on the tragic circumstances of people, such as "Fred Jones Pt.2," "Not the Same," and "The Ascent of Stan." Folds displays his pity and empathy for his subjects, and the result in every song is poignant and beautiful. Besides character ballads, Folds' other songwriting tool has always been musical irony and comedy. He pulls this trick as well, as the first single "Rockin' the Suburbs" exhibits. Folds also offers his take on love in "The Luckiest," which is the complete opposite of his earlier love song "Song for the Dumped" from BFF's second album. Folds' music, like his songwriting, also isn't greatly different from his earlier group efforts. Folds plays every instrument on this album, including, of course, the piano. The songs are catchy and complex, and will stay with you because of their message or because of their cleverness. Overall, this album is nearly flawless, and I would recommend it to anyone, especially Ben Folds Five fans. Ben Folds is an excellent songwriter and musician whose musical gift continues to evolve magnificently.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By orakle on September 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent album, and carries on in the tradition started by BFF. In the past, Ben Folds Five has always produced albums that felt like two seperate records: one, humorous, parody-laden and clever; the other passionate, superbly written and inevitably moving. Inbetween there were usually, at least for me, a couple of tracks that didn't quite fly. This album is heavily weighted towards the pasionate and moving end of the spectrum. Most of the songs in this category are excellent, though Zak and Sara must be a musician thing since I totally fail to see the point. The only remanent of the "humor" category is the title track, which most reviewers are panning as "prepackaged pop fluff." Of course it sounds like pop fluff, that's what it's parodying, does no one know sarcasm when they hear it?
Anyway, if you liked songs like "Mess" from Messner and "Brick" from Whatever and Ever you'll really enjoy this album. If you pick it up hoping for "Song for the Dumped" or "Army" style wackiness, you might as well just get the single. Overall a fantastic effort on Folds' part if you ask me, but be aware of what you're in for.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "dokkenfan" on April 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
To be completely honest, I have never been much of a fan of Ben Fold's Five. Whatever and Ever Amen was a good album, but for some reason or another, none of his previous work ever really interested me. On the recomendation of a friend, I purchased Rockin' the Suburbs, not expecting too much, and was I ever wrong. I've been wanting to review this album for quite some time now, but I always try and wait quite some time to see if my opinion of it changes. Well, after 6 months of heavy rotation in my cd player, I can say that Rockin' the Suburbs has only grown on me. I have a new favorite every week. Right now its 'The Ascent of Stan.' The song has some spectacular piano playing from Mr. Folds, as do most of the songs on the album. The song manages to progress from an intricate, classical sounding intro into a new wave-ish chorus without sounding awkward at all. This is one of the things I appreciate most about this album--its diversity. Ben Folds manages to gracefully jump from style to style on this album. From the beautiful, low-key 'Fred Jones Part 2' to the Beach Boys-like harmonies of 'Gone' to the extremely sarcastic 'Rockin the Suburbs' (Which, in my opinion, summarizes the sad state of pop music today) there isn't a clunker on this album. Every friend I have played this for has enjoyed it, even those like myself, who are fairly new to the Ben Folds' catalogue. So do yourself a favor and go out and hear it for yourself.
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