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Customer Review

47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Way to Normal, October 3, 2008
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This review is from: Way to Normal (Audio CD)
Much like everyone else it seems, we've all been fans of Ben Folds since he was Ben Folds Five. So he clearly has a very devoted following of people like me who will buy anything he puts out on day one.

So I have listened to 'Way to Normal' four times now. After the first time, I thought, "This is really uneven and kind of disappointing". Usually I'm hooked after one listen.

There are some really stupid, childish lyrics on the album - 'Errant Dog' comes to mind right away and the "f'ing a Guru" in 'The Frown Song'. Those lyrics made me cringe and feel really old. And then there's the really lame woman-leaves-man/ man-leaves-woman joke that leads into "B*&ch Went Nuts" with its David Carradine Kung Fu delivery. Maybe today's teenagers might find this stuff funny, but I did not.

Also, there are a few songs with a weird sounding/fuzzy piano/keyboard in the background that sounds very out-of-place on a Ben Folds album (It almost sounds like Dr. Dre could have made those sounds).

Now despite those negatives, there are still a bunch of really good songs on here that make me remember why Ben Folds is one of my favorite artists. He's a great pop-song writer. He's one of the few artists today to really feature the piano (he makes me wish I could play). "Cologne" is such a powerful, personal song and probably the best song on the album. "B&*ch Went Nuts", "Brainwascht" and "Effington" are fun and fast-paced. "Kylie from Connecticut" was classic piano-man. I only wish the entire album lived up to those songs. Overall, a really uneven release...
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 7, 2008 12:10:02 PM PDT
"Also, there are a few songs with a weird sounding/fuzzy piano/keyboard in the background that sounds very out-of-place on a Ben Folds album (It almost sounds like Dr. Dre could have made those sounds)."

This is because Ben Folds placed things inside of the piano, on top of the strings when he played it, it was an experiment or something of the sort for a different type of sound. If you have ever been to one of his concerts, he often explains why things are the way they are on the albums when he plays the songs live.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 4:30:55 AM PDT
totally correct- saw his concert last night and he put an Altoids can inside the piano and the sound was awesome. ben is a genius and i love him.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 4:31:37 AM PDT
totally correct- saw his concert last night and he put an Altoids can inside the piano and the sound was awesome. ben is a genius and i love him.

Posted on Oct 18, 2008 10:02:34 PM PDT
T. Snyder says:
I forgot to note in my review that the opening line to Cologne is one of thee greatest lines I've heard in a long time.
"Here in Cologne/ I know I said it wrong" is a hilarious inside joke to any American who's ever visited Koln, Germany and tried to pronounce "Koln". It's practically impossible to pronounce correctly!

This only illustrates that Ben can write awesomely witty lyrics if he really tries. So it's only more depressing to hear about who's f**&ing a guru... or a stupid-lyrically song about his errant dog (which was already a line in a different song earlier in the album)... or just name dropping a bunch of oriental things in Dr Yang... or the B&#ch Went Nuts intro... all very frustrating from one of my favorite artists.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2008 9:15:19 AM PST
smAshes says:
What about Song for the Dumped on Whatever and Ever Amen....or Rockin' the Suburbs. There have always been songs that were a bit childish and immature, but I think it is also part of what makes him fun. He is an amazing musician and I love the fact he has this lighter, goofy sense of humor....definitely a little warped, but many of us are. :)

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 12:41:08 PM PST
I have to agree with the others that the things Ben does with the sound is entirely doable live and with a grand piano, and simply amazing. I got to watch from a mere few feet away on my last concert of his and the sounds he can create with just your average piano will blow you away.
I think the childish ones are fun, too. Listen out for his newest version of 'Bitch went nuts' in which he tells the story of a conservative lawyer taking his liberal girlfriend to a party and giving her cocaine for the first time. I nearly wet myself at the concert, and it's really nice to know that Ben and his bandmates can really have fun with the songs that they do. This album has proven to be no different.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2009 8:50:50 PM PST
Meecrofilm says:
"or a stupid-lyrically song about his errant dog"

I actually think "Errant Dog" is a clever and funny song. It's pretty clear that it's not him talking about his dog, but actually a controlling girlfriend talking about her boyfriend....... "he's probably runnin' loose with the B***es, and when I catch him I'll give him some stitches" and of course "gonna take him on court TV, show the world what he's done to me / Sometimes I wonder why I put up with his s***, if I could I would become a lesbian."

:D

Posted on Feb 27, 2010 11:41:24 AM PST
Tom says:
This is a great review of the album, 100% accurate in every aspect

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 10:12:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013 9:17:19 PM PST
Sloppy D says:
I thought pretty much every attempt at humor hit the mark, and I laughed heartily at the "BWN" intro, and the whole song. I'm 40, in case you were wondering if I'm one of "today's teenagers."

The last thing the world needs is a serious, shoe-gazing Ben Folds. His puckish, irreverent humor and his refusal to become an Important, Sophisticated Artiste are assets as valuable as his piano skills and feel for hooks. I say keep on amusing us dumb "teenagers," Ben, while the tastes of the TS's in your fan-base "mature" on to whatever muzak they play in the retirement home these days.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:07:29 AM PST
christitunes says:
Huh. You mentioned feeling old...perhaps that is the case? Agree with the poster who pointed out that some of the lyrics on "Whatever and Ever" are just as immature. :)

I also saw the Altoid trick from the front row here in Portland on that tour. So cool!
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