44. Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen

Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen

44. Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen (1997)

1. One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
2. Fair
3. Brick
4. Song for the Dumped
5. Selfless, Cold, and Composed
6. Kate
7. Smoke
8. Cigarette
9. Steven’s Last Night in Town
10. Battle of Who Could Care Less
11. Missing the War
12. Evaporated

Who is/are Ben Folds Five?

According to Wikipedia; “Ben Folds Five are an American alternative rock trio formed in 1993 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina”.

Why did you buy this album?

I think I bought this following the realisation that I didn’t actually own it, despite knowing it well. It’s an album I’d heard a lot since it came out, and always seem to associate it with helping to decorate a friend’s house…

What’s it like?

I’ve heard this described as alt-rock, power-pop, and piano-rock-pop. All of which cover it. Suffice to say, there’s piano playing on there of a style that hadn’t been used since the 1970s, and it’s great.

There’s also a welcome tonal change in the bass, with an upright bass used instead of the expected electric bass guitar. This means that the bass is generally warmer throughout, which especially suits the ballads.

After listening to it now, do you (still) like this album?

I do still like this album, though the tracks I liked most first time round are no longer my favourites, with the exception of ‘Brick‘. I’ve less time for previous favourites ‘Song for the Dumped‘ and ‘One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces‘, but will gladly listen to ‘Missing The War‘, ‘Evaporated‘, and ‘Selfless, Cold, and Composed‘ having previously given them short shrift.

I’ve also found I’ve got less patience for some of the stronger language in some of the songs as I’ve got older.

Any stand-out tracks?

Brick‘. Always ‘Brick‘. That song I bought as a CD single when it was released, and still love it to this day.

Notable mentions also go to ‘Steven’s Last Night in Town‘ and ‘Battle of Who Could Care Less‘ as similarly consistent favourites, alongside new favourites ‘Missing The War‘ and ‘Evaporated‘.

Rating out of 10?

7/10.

Next up: Björk – Debut

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