Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five


4.0
excellent

Review

by Pechorin USER (23 Reviews)
November 30th, 2005 | 23 replies | 5,555 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


2 of 3 thought this review was well written

Ben Folds Five is an excellent debut album that would launch the careers of this excellent band. Though weaker and less refined than their more popularWhatever and Ever, Amen album, this still remains a very strong album today.This album isn't quite at the enotional level or musical quality of WEaEA, but there are still areas where the instrumentation and lyrics fit together perfectly.

Jackson Cannery -- Ben immediately shows his heavy piano style with his hammering, driving intro. Then, as everyone else joins in, the song takes the familiar path of songs by the Five - heavy enough to forget the fact they have no guitarist, yet still having that jazzy pop feel to it. The harmonies on this track are good, though not as refined as others (i.e. "Fair" from Whatever). Great opening, though.

Philosophy -- This starts with a delicate piano riff that is probably my favorite Ben Folds line. Once again, Robert Sledge's fuzzy bass is juxtaposed right next to this delicate piano line, then Darren Jesse keeps it all together with his drums. The verses slow down a bit, then the chorus leads to a nice, meandering piano bit. Everything builds to an explosive jam at the end of the song, then a count into...

Julianne -- I feel this is the weak point of the album, if there is one. The piano, however, is once again amazing. It's a very amusing song, but I think the Five gets a bit carried away with the stuff breaking in the background and the drawn out "Annnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeee." at the end.

Where's Summer B? -- Now we get into another more laid-back song here. This is arguably lyrically one of my favorite Five songs ever. The backing harmonies are top-notch, and the piano perfectly fits in with the rest of the song.

Alice Childress -- Quite a morose song, especially for this album. It has a very lazy piano intro and great chorus harmonies in addition to lighter backing instrumentation as well. I've heard it described as a low point, but I would have to disagree there. Pretty good overall.

Underground -- Hand me my nosering! Obviously about the alternative music song, this takes a while to take off before it turns into a really good song. Once it really gets started (about 35 sec. into it), you again hear amazing harmonies and a nice, driving piano line. Not to mention this is a very entertaining song to boot.

Sports & Wine -- A nice, happy, upbeat song is always good in my book. This is no exception. It's very simple, but gets the job done. The post-chorus riff is one of the coolest on the album, and there's also a really cool breakdown towards the end of the song. It's a short song, but worth the listen.

Uncle Walter -- One of the best on the album. It starts with a driving fuzz bass line, and paints an entertaining picture of the know-it-all relative (Or maybe Walter Cronkite?) that everyone knows about. Again, the Five show their genius with their ability to write good, amusing pop pieces.

Best Imitation of Myself -- This one took me a while to like, but I now see it as one of the most emotional pieces of music on the album. It starts with Ben alone with his piano, then builds gradually as the others join him. Again, the backing vocals here are very impressive, if not perfect. By the end, you almost feel as if something has to break apart from the strain evident in Ben's voice on the last chorus. And I mean that in a good way. This is one of the must-listens on here.

Video -- This reminds me of "Selfless, Cold, and Composed" in a way. It immediatly starts with the piano. This is probably one of the weaker points on the album, but it's still a good, straightforward piano pop song.

The Last Polka -- Don't let the title scare you, this isn't a Frankie Yankovic piece. This has another very addicting, crashing chorus, with the hypnotizing piano riff in the post chorus riffs. Ben's vocal work is also impressive, laying the foundation for one of my favorite songs of all time.

Boxing -- This is different from most of the album. An almost lazy, this is a very nicely done vignette about a boxing fight. Almost a solo piece until the end, this shows off Ben's skill as an artist.


Though less refined, this album still has some great moments. In fact, some come from these imperfections that make the album what it is. If you are a fan of piano rock, I suggest you pick up this underrated gem if you can find it...

Next, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner...



Recent reviews by this author
Rush Test for EchoThe Presidents of the USA II
The Mothers of Invention Freak Out!The Proclaimers The Best Of...87-02
R.E.M. Dead Letter OfficeR.E.M. Eponymous
user ratings (112)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
morrissey
Moderator
November 30th 2005



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You may want to fix the formatting, it didn't copy well.

I haven't heard this album but it looks like something to check out.

I do have The Unauthorized blah blah so I'm looking forward to it. Way to pump out the reviews!

Zaine
November 30th 2005



199 Comments


i cant stand the double spacing. for some unknown reason, it makes me very agitated to read it. plus it makes it look short and unorganized. so you get minus points for writing. the review itself is alright. decent for a TxT. i could never really get into BFF but this album sounds alright for the genre.

Pechorin
November 30th 2005



160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry about that...Copying from notepad always does that to me. With my tabs, too. It shall be fixed shortly.

Zebra
Moderator
November 30th 2005



2647 Comments


Sort of hard to read, but if you fix it up soon than I will read it all the way through.

I haven't heard much Ben Folds, but I have liked what I have heard.

Pechorin
November 30th 2005



160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fixed. And thanks for giving me a chance to fix it, Zaine.

morrissey
Moderator
November 30th 2005



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

come to think of it nevermindThis Message Edited On 11.30.05

Pechorin
December 1st 2005



160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Actually, his name is Frankie Yankovic...I recalled it incorrectly. He's a famous polka accordionist, but he isn't related to Weird Al. He was, however, a major inspiration to Al's parents to make Al start taking accordion lessons. [/closet Weird Al fan]

Firecracker
November 15th 2007



106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sounds like you like WEaEA much more, but I would listen to BFF self-titled more than I would that one. Good review though.
Love the first 6 tracks.

timbo8
October 12th 2008



618 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

WOW! I'm on my first listen through of this and I'm enjoying the hell out of it

AtavanHalen
October 12th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Took you long enough.

timbo8
October 12th 2008



618 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha yea it did. I'm usually quite behind the curve.

AtavanHalen
October 12th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, I'd rather listen to this than Way To(o) Average, so...

Jim
January 10th 2009



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mmm yes yes this is good
stand out tracks at first would be underground, best imitation of myself and last polka. the lyrics to uncle walter slay
will provide rating after more listening

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2012



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This shits all over Whatever and Ever, Amen

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2012



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And Julianne is the best song on here. You're wrong.

AsoTamaki
January 18th 2012



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Philosophy, Where's Summer B? and Alice Childress are better than Julianne.

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2012



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alice Childress maybe but not the other two

dcorrea
October 10th 2012



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's obvious that you are a huge fan of WaEA but try not to compare them. Try to listen through the perspective that you are listening to this first. I think it will help. Also the songs you claimed to be the low point are actually some of the strongest.

skeames1214
November 5th 2013



2713 Comments


I fckn love this album (------------------------------------------------------------)

skeames1214
November 5th 2013



2713 Comments


fav three off this are Jackson Cannery, Philosophy, and Sports and Wine.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy