it's probably not good
It's probably not good that the legendary Ben Folds is my role model, but it's true.
You Don't Know Me
I love Ben Folds! Ever since I saw him as a judge on The Sing-Off last season, I've been trying to figure out who he was. Then, one day browsing on iTunes, I found the song You Don't Know Me, and now I'm hooked! How can you not smile when listening to that song?!?
Excellent. Listen to it more than once before you put it down!
I was pretty skeptical to buy this album after reading the reviews, but I had some cash to spend so I took the risk. I found it a little odd, definitely different then the other folds records, but not at all bad. Buy the record as a whole, and give it a listen a couple times through. It grows on you, and well you won't be able to stop singing cologne for a while. Excellent album!
Can't Wait For The Next Album
I have been a Ben Folds fan since Ben Folds Five. I have every recording. In my opinion, Ben has to be one of the greatest songwriters in the last 15 years. Like every other Ben Folds fan, I was eagerly anticipating the release of Way To Normal, especially after hearing some of the new songs in concert (Ben Lee was also great that night). I must admit, that after the first listen, I wasn't too sure about this new album. But believe me, it grows on you. Give it another listen, then another. The songs are great. What do you expect, Ben to write Philosophy every time. New Ben Folds fans may want to try Songs For Silverman or Rockin' The Suburbs first, but Way To Normal is just as great of an album.
I have to disagree with any review on here written by anyone who states they've been a fan since BF5 and that this album is a letdown. This album is incredible and if you have any doubt just listen to the Piano Orchestra version of "Cologne" a few times on repeat. A return to the classic tack piano instrumentals. The way he intertwines the music with his lyrical storytelling is flawless.
Way To Normal
At first listen, this album was average. Not up to Ben Folds standards. But my second playthrough proved me wrong! This has become one of my favorite Folds CD. So make sure you give it a chance.
It's okay I guess...
Ben Folds is obviously a musical genius and the next Vince Guaraldi, but this album doesn't show it. You don't know me, of course, is a different story. But Naked Baby Photos and Rockin' the Suburbs are much better.
'A few gems...'
Ben Folds is a musical genious. From his so-called 'grunge for wussies' days of Ben Folds Five, to his two beautiful solo albums ("Rockin' The Suburbs" is my favorite album of all time), he's brought joy to fans of all ages. Now, he gives us "Way To Normal", which is far from Folds' 'normal' standerds.
'Normal' is not what Folds' fans expected. Myself being a fan of his work, I was hoping for a repeat of his 2005 album "Songs For Silverman", that of which showed that Folds' was.......well, aging. And with age come maturity, which Folds' showed in his melodies and lyrics, and made for a breath-takingly beautiful album. Now, with 'Normal', he's trying to be something he's not; young.
Take, for instance, 'Dr. Yang', the albums second song. It consists of destortred bass and loud, incoherent drums, and a 44 year olds Folds' screaming at the top of his lungs, his voice cracking insanely. 'Errant Dog' is the same, minus the screaming. Both were terrible tracks, and fell flat, considering the standerds Folds' set with his first two albums. "Silverman" had no loud drums or strong bass lines, just beautiful piano riffs and poetic lyrics. This album has neither.
Tracks like "Free Coffee" and "Errant Dog" send a sharp pain through the average listener's ear. Almost every track feels over-produced and thrown together, unlike Folds' past work. But there are a few gems that are worth the iTunes price of nintey-nine cents.
'Kylie From Conneticut' is almost worth buying the entire album. The album's closer, it is the only real Ben Folds song on this album. Others, like 'Hiroshima' and 'The Frown Song' are a bit different, but neat, and are worthy of a listen. 'You Don't Know Me' is also a fun track (I have a weakness for string sections and Reginia Spektor). Even 'Cologne' or 'Effington', though the lyrics weak, are two of the albums better tracks. But, like I said, not the usual Ben Folds.
In short, if your new to Folds' music, I strongly suggest picking up a copy of "Rockin' The Suburbs". That's the best thing this North Carolina-native ever put out onto the market place. "Way To Normal" is for the new and daring Folds' fan. People who have followed his career since Five's hayday will be dissapointed by this effort. I know I was.
But don't let this album put you against his work. He's still got plenty of good music to give us. His latest demo 'Picture Window' (with lyrics by author Nick Hornby) is floating around the Internet. After a listen, your faith shall be restored.
So, thanks Ben. This album might have been a let-down, but at least we know you've still got it.
Not like the old days (5 forever!). I just don't hear quality song writing of previous albums. The best Ben Folds album by far is Ben Folds Live. Just Ben and a piano. It's very vunerable, which I feel is how most fans connect with his work.
This album is deffinatly not as good as rockin the subberbs or BF5 stuff but it is still good. It's worth buying but buy the first Ben Folds Five album first if you dont have it.