September 30, 2008

Happy Ben Folds Day!

Today marks the release of ‘Way to Normal’, Ben Folds first album since 2005. Hello Ben, 2005?? I know you were busy getting all divorced and remarried and traumatizing me with the not-romantic information that this is Marriage #4, but come on, no time for an album release in between all that?

Ben Folds has brought a lot of good to my life – He led me to Ben Lee, once opened a concert to the ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ overture and provided the perfect Father/Daughter dance song, so I would like to overlook his whole ‘personal life’ thing and celebrate today with a little breakdown of the Best of BF/BFF.

Magic. I listened to this song a lot when Donovan was sick. It helped.

The Luckiest. Apparently, Ben feels like every other woman he meets makes him The Luckiest, but for those of us with only one One-and-Only, this song is still pretty sweet.

Late. This is one of the songs that I occasionally find myself thinking about and that I MUST hear right away. He wrote it for Elliott Smith, someone he didn’t know too well, but whose death he was effected by. Who can’t relate to that?

Song for the Dumped. This song is hilarious. Give me back that black t-shirt indeed.

‘Regrets’ and ‘Don’t Change Your Plans for Me’ should be on the ultimate mixed tape for a recent college grad. Not that this (from ‘Regrets”) has ever been me:
I thought about the hours wasted
Watching TV, drinking beer
I thought about the things I thought about
Until immobilized with fear
And all the great ideas I had
And how we just made fun
Of those who had the guts to try and fail
Nope, never done that.

I can’t even highlight a single poignant lyric from ‘Don’t Change Your Plans’ because each one could hit you in a different place.

I could [try to] wax poetic about each and every song Ben Folds and Ben Folds Five has ever released and that’s because over the years I’ve been obsessed with all of them. Lyrically, I don’t know of anyone who marries (ha!) the poignant and the hilarious quite so well (Think: ‘Song for the Dumped’ followed by ‘Philosophy’ – you can read a lot into the juxtaposition just from the song titles.), and so many of his songs start out with just the right bang (Is there a better opening lyric than “I feel like a quote out of context”?).

Specific, touching, searing and insightful – I have high demands/hopes for ‘Way to Normal,’ and am confident I won’t be disappointed. Unless he gets divorced again.