Oct 02 2008

Ben Folds – Way To Normal (2008)

Published by at 10:36 am under MP3's


Pretty much all of us at Indie Muse grew up on Ben Folds. There is no question that we are always going to treasure the music he used to produce. Not sure what happened along the way (one hypothesis: he’s old), but opportunity cost laws dictate that his new album, Way To Normal, is not worth your time. Go listen to anything before Songs for Silverman instead. Actually, Songs for Silverman, is a pretty good album, especially compared to this. So go listen to that. Basically, anything but Way to Normal.

That doesn’t mean he can’t still produce a catchy song, though. “You Don’t Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)” is going to be stuck in my head for the weeks to come.

Way To Normal (2008):

Ben Folds – You Don’t Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)

Rockin the Suburbs (2001)

Ben Folds – The Ascent of Stan

Whatever and Ever Amen (1997):

Ben Folds Five – Battle of Who Could Care Less


Ben Folds – Bitches Ain’t Shit

The Bens – Just Pretend (Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, Ben Lee)

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Ben Folds – Way To Normal (2008)”

  1. Chrison 02 Oct 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Too true. I’d say that song for song Silverman was at least just as good as Suburbs (probably even better). The quality on the album was crisp and the piano was forefront just as we like it. But Way to Normal is just… not good. Cologne is pretty solid and others are fun, but as someone wrote in a review I read, it seems like he’s phoning it in on a couple (it seems that he’s “finally found a reason to sit right down and shit some out”). I think the worst part is that the quality of the recordings for some reason is awful. It sounds very FM radio. Am I wrong? This album, compounded with the lack of personality of the BF5 reunion I went to a couple weeks ago, has me pretty disappointed in one of my favorite artists.

    Having said that, the reunion show was surreal and awesome to be at nonetheless, and it looks like he absolutely rocked the shit out of Terminal 5 last night (with a very pre-WTN heavy set list). I’m so jealous of my brother and mom that got to hear ‘Fair’ and ‘Kate’ last night that were surprising left out of the BF5 Chapel Hill show.

    No matter what, though, I’m with him to the end. He’s already lining up another album, so I guess we’ll cross our fingers and blast Whatever and Ever until then.

  2. drewon 02 Oct 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I may be incorrect, Chris, but are you sure you have the actual album? The “leak”, which Folds produced himself as a joke is very poor sound quality and has joke versions of a few of the actual tracks from the record. The actual album sounds sonically as good as anything else. That said, I think the album is seriously disjointed and disappointing, outside a few tracks (“effington”, “kylie from connecticut”, “you don’t know me”). It’s hard to believe it’s been over 10 years since Whatever and Ever, Amen… but it just goes to prove how hard it is to be amazing over a long period of time.

  3. Bagson 03 Oct 2008 at 10:49 am

    This “You Don’t Know Me” song has to be the sexiest song I’ve heard in a long long time. Ben Folds is effing pimp and stuff.

  4. Chrison 03 Oct 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Yeah, the CD came in the other day and even the vinyl sounded a little weird. Maybe it’s my speakers. But yeah, I agree with your assessment, pretty dead on.

  5. Brianon 06 Oct 2008 at 11:01 am

    WHAT?!? Have you heard “Way to Normal”? This is the closest to the Ben Folds you all seem to be missing so badly that we’ve heard since “Whatever…”

    He’s angry, he’s creative, he’s full of F-words and bad jokes…

    What do you want to hear from him at this point?

    A friend of mine made this point last night:

    “Every review of “Songs for Silverman” said “Ben is getting old…”; every review of “Normal” is saying he sounds too young and needs to grow up… What do people WANT?!!?”

    Come on and let an artist move on… He can’t put out the same album over and over…

  6. bordon 11 Oct 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Songs aside, the recording/mastering is horrid. Put on “Unauthorized…” for five minutes, then turn on any track on “Way to Normal.” It sounds like an amateur playing with Protools for the first time. The vinyl is a little better since there is a tad more dynamic range, but a good vinyl mastering can’t help poorly recorded music.

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