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Rockin the Suburbs

An album by Ben Folds

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really surprised

  • May 31, 2002
I'll admit stright off the bat that I'm not a fan of Ben Folds Five. I've tried a few times to get into them, but couldn't. However, I've always been drawn to Ben Folds' voice and songwriting, and the beautiful piano parts of their music.

When Ben Folds' solo release came out, I was tempted to buy it, but put it off because I was worried some of the jokey stuff would still be there. After hearing a few songs off the CD, I just went ahead and got it. All I can say is "WOW". This is one of my favorite CDs of the year. There's still a lot of wit to it, but the lyrics are more provocative, and the songs a little more serious. "The Luckiest" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. "The Ascent of Stan", "Annie Waits", and "Fred Jones" are probably my other favorites on the CD.

If you are putting off buying this CD because you don't like BFF, don't hesitate. I know there are a lot of huge BFF fans out there, and that's great, but I like Folds' solo stuff *much* better. I can't wait to hear what he puts out next.

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About the reviewer
Chel Micheline ()
Ranked #342
I'm in my 30's. I'm married to Tom, and mama to Gracie (born 10/05 in Danang, Vietnam, adopted 07/06). We have numerous pets, including three cats, one gecko, two parrotlets, and two beta … more
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On the evidence ofRockin' 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 undergradBarenaked Ladies-style gags. Songs like "Mess" and "Brick" signaled an extraordinary new songwriting talent worthy of comparison to Folds's obvious idols,Elvis CostelloandPaul 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

    1 Listen Now! Annie Waits Folds 4:17     2 Listen Now! Zak and Sara Folds 3:11     3 Listen Now! ...
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Label: Sony
Artist: Ben Folds
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release Date: September 11, 2001
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"really surprised"
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