Ladies and guys! He released a new album *finally* this past Friday! YAY! Weekend = made. Month = made. Life = made (for now. I'm an American and won't be satisfied for too long, chances are.)
If you don't know about Ben Folds - WTF. But I'll tell you a bit about him. My shock has depleted at your lack of musical taste. He's a musical master genius who has been somebody I've looked up to for a very long time. You may recognize the handsome devil from that short lived TV show - Sing Off! He was the most knowledgable judge on the panel and gave the most constructive feedback. He was in the alternative rock band, Ben Folds Five during the beginning of his career and then took on the solo life. He's a record producer as well and has collaborated with some of my faves like William Shatner and "Weird Al" Yankovic.
BUT LOOK AT HIM
UGH I CAN'T
His sarcastic, true to life, beautifully written / flowing songs are always a pleasure to listen to. Some tracks hit home with your heartstrings and pluck those things so hard you probably would mistake the gesture for a heart attack. But you're not dead, you're just listening to Benjamin! No worries!
I'm here to talk about his latest album, So There. Now - I'm SO glad he released a new album - I really am. I swear. But, just a warning, the album is definitely a little different then a lot of his previous albums. At first, I was annoyed by this. I didn't even know what to expect when giving it a first listen, but I felt let down for some reason? I then felt horrible because..biased-ly I love everything associated with Ben Folds, but honestly after half listening to the entire album while cooking up breakfast on Saturday morning, I was like, "Eh." But then, I realized I was being extremely on the snobby side. I wasn't even giving this album the full attention it deserves! Only half listening to it gave me an ,"Eh - not show stopping but not painful to listen to." response so I owed to it Folds to give the album an old fashioned, traditional sit on the porch and just take in the new sounds. I did just that. Although it is a smidgen of a different path for his sound, it's a lovely path to be on.
A lot of the tracks have an orchestra, live concert vibe. I felt like I was at a theatre performance of an original Ben Folds Musical. I loved it! These vibes can be found running through the veins of So There. The over the top tracks where they are the superstar of the song would be:
Also - the last three tracks of the album:
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Movements I, II, & III
are really one live performance Ben played with the Nashville Symphony. The are truly mesmerizing and just a plain example of what music is all about.
Now, I realize this is a good chunk of the album - but almost all of the tracks have, even if just a minor touch, of an orchestra type feeling emitting from them. It's breathtaking and really teleports you to a different place. A lot of the tracks flew me to a pond surrounded by bright green grass, vividly colorful flowers, NO BIRDS CHIRPING (Except maybe an owl) ((Double parentheses - I have a fear of birds; all except owls really. FYI)), and a deep blue, cloudless sky. I felt like I was at Disney with how magical this made me feel. That's some deep shit.
If you're looking for a more "typical" Ben Folds sound, I'd recommend these pop chamber tracks off the album to kind of ease you into the new vibe present throughout So There:
(My personal favorite off the CD)
I would definitely recommend this album to fans and noobz. For those who love the pure and original Folds, do your best not to compare because this album is a standalone that as a whole, is really an otherworldly experience. I know it's hard to hold back from automatically comparing every song to old albums though, I do it without thinking to every new track a favorite artist of mine puts out. It's not fair because artists need to explore all of their ideas and shouldn't be clumped into just one tiny, fragile bubble of what they are "allowed" to express, right? RIGHT?! We aren't their controlling parents - for now anyway.
Let me know what you think of his newest album, So There in the comments below! You can get it on iTunes for $9.99 or listen to it on Spotify if you don't feel like contributing to his life financially. Remember to #staynerdy and thanks for reading!