And so we depart the tea-sipping world of Belle and Sebastian for the somewhat more raucous world of Ben Folds and his buddies.
Back in 1996, one (or both) of my housemates owned BF5’s debut album and we went close to wearing the disc out as we jumped around to Underground and Julianne. The piano-driven rock was infectious and the lyrics erudite. I caught them live and it translated very well to stage.
Somehow I never got around to buying that CD. When I hooked up years later with my now wife, it was great to discover she owned their follow up release. Even better, it is a more consistent set of tunes.
The big ‘hit’ here was Brick, a cleverly ambiguous abortion saga. Folds nails a couple of breakup tunes, one soppy (Smoke), the other hilarious (Song for the Dumped). This album only has a couple of dud efforts, and otherwise contains most of my faves from his songbook.
Ben Folds constructs rousing, diverse and durable songs. He is perhaps the international artist for whom I have the highest ratio of gigs-seen-to-albums-owned. This album is ample justification for going along each time.
File under: Plonky piano pleasure