Ben Folds / Way To Normal
Album: Way To Normal   Collection:General
Artist:Ben Folds   Added:Oct 2008
Label:Epic Records  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2009-01-11 Pull Date: 2009-03-15
Week Ending: Mar 15 Mar 8 Mar 1 Feb 22 Feb 15 Feb 8 Feb 1 Jan 25
Airplays: 4 1 2 2 4 1 2 1

Recent Airplay
1. Dec 01, 2011: Palo Alto Pop Overthrow
Bitch Went Nuts
4. Jan 07, 2010: Palo Alto Pop Overthrow
You Don't Know Me (Featuring Regina Spektor)
2. Aug 26, 2010: The Rock Lobster
Dr. Yang
5. Nov 26, 2009: Palo Alto Pop Overthrow
You Don't Know Me (Featuring Regina Spektor)
3. May 17, 2010: Palo Alto Pop Overthrow
Bitch Went Nuts
6. Oct 13, 2009: The Rock Lobster
Dr. Yang

Album Review
Phil Andrews
Reviewed 2009-01-11
1. Live(or fake live?) Song about Ben in a nervous moment falling off the stage and hitting his head. Bass guitar ramps up half way through, channeling old Ben Folds Five material. Despite the title there was no Elton John cover in there. Ends very abruptly.
2. Fuzzed out guitar onslaught in bursts. Joking manner of Ringoesque lyrics is delivered with (??? not "gusto" ???) Piano is punched in, edited, sampled, etc. in the song. Turns on the hose at the end.
3. Siren-like synthesizer recalling 80s video games ping pongs between the left and right channels. NFAP "speculate who might be fucking a guru" (starting at +0:38/-2:58). Plodding beat with occasional bright spots (despite the title.) NFAP "now we know who's been fucking the guru" starting at +2:37/-1:00. Ends with piano ad lib.
4. Features Regina Spektor. Playful vocals, over drum and strings samples. FCC "Why the [fuck:+1:51/-1:20]"
5. Instrumental (54 seconds), sounds like it could be out of the romantic silent part of an art film. Zither(?) in the background. Ends at -0:02.
6. 5 minute counterpart to the previous track, with vocals. Sad and reserved. Not "Brick" sad. Done at -0:03.
7. Beatles/helter skelter feel. Seems like a shoddily constructed song just to come up with several different ways to say "bitch." Uses words "bitch", "goddamn," and "ass", whatever. "Put up with his shit" +1:58/-0:26.
8. Distorted/clipping lo-fi background sample. Soft vocals. Very cyclic/sampled feel, drums and samples breakdown 1/3 of the way into the song, which returns at 2/3rds too and evolves into a jammy segment. noisy. "Flipping off the [asshole:+1:32/-2:29] who pulled into my lane." True ending at +3:08/-0:53. A second later, goes into a weird narrative from a fake guru who informs him that a woman may have said "man is douche [sic] and is free to make love to himself itself." This is a perfect into into track 9.
9. "bitch" (probably not an FCC, given counterexamples.) "cunt" FCC at +0:11/-2:54. Very poppy, catchy track. Builds to a freak out. "Holy [fucking shit:+2:22/-0:44]."
10. Modernized/poppified disco beat. Stepping out style. Refers to something as "gay".
11. 10 seconds accapella at the beginning. Not so cleverly says effing [this] and effing [that] in the fictitious town of Effington. Builds to a grand swell. Ends at -0:08.
12. Somber, piano and strings. Extra extra emotive. Let the piano sustain at the end of the track.

Ben Folds is back with yet another album of bright, infectious and mildly immature (thus fun) piano pop. Ben Folds (Five) standard components include: fuzzed out guitar and/or bass, silly piano flourishes, and "almost witty but more like sixth grader witty" lyrics. As usual the music he write and performs falls into one of three buckets: blast off piano pop verging on piano punk, songs about relationships, situations, and/or women gone nuts, or sad and somber tunes designed to channel emotion more through the piano than through the vocals alone. In that regard Ben has not changed one iota... but he does it so well!

3.0/5 stars.
REC: 9 (FCCs!), 4 (FCC), 10, 3 (FCCs!), 11
FCCs: 3 (fucking, fucking), 4 (fuck), 7 (shit), 8 (asshole), 9 (cunt, fucking shit)
RIYL: Ben Folds Five (duh), Moyer

Track Listing
1. Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)   7. Errant Dog
2. Dr. Yang   8. Free Coffee
3. The Frown Song   9. Bitch Went Nuts
4. You Don't Know Me (Featuring Regina Spektor)   10. Brainwascht
5. Before Cologne   11. Effington
6. Cologne   12. Kylie From Connecticut