Song of the Day #1,631: ‘Michael Praytor, Five Years Later’ – Ben Folds Five

bff_sound_life_mindTop Songs of 2012 – #6

One of my happiest musical memories of 2012 was the reunion of Ben Folds Five thirteen years after their last album together. Their new record, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, sounded exactly like a Ben Folds Five record should sound a decade later — it wasn’t a flashback so much as an evolution.

It’s funny how the addition of a drummer and bassist who rarely contribute to the songwriting can change a band’s sound. The difference between the four Ben Folds Five albums and Folds’ solo work is really just the men behind the instruments. But Darren Jesse and Robert Sledge combine with Folds to form a musical alchemy that elevates the whole package.

‘Michael Praytor, Five Years Later’ is one of my favorite tracks on this album because it highlights that alchemy so well. It swings and rocks like the Five always do at their best. And Michael Praytor joins the pantheon of great BFF characters (real or imagined) alongside Steven, Kate, Julianne, Uncle Walter and Joe Caparo (who actually commented on this blog once).

It was the opposite of ‘Fire and Rain’
You know the song
I never thought I’d see this guy again
But I was wrong
Oh, every five years
Since 1972 when at recess
He recruited me to try to kick
The church down to the ground

Michael Praytor
So random
Who knows why some satellites
Come by and by
While others disappear
Into the sky

Good morning, mirror
Break the change to me
I tried to stay too close to see
That there’s a pattern in the tiles
And a fool who marks the miles
It was long hair
And this time it was no hair
Seeming thin, divorced, inspired
Engaged in chemo, born again and fired

Michael Praytor
So random
Who knows why some satellites
Come by and by
While others disappear
Into the sky
Disappear into the sky

At Hanes Mall parking lot at 5am
I saw him sleeping in his car
I’ve been up all night from New York
Bumming out on 95
Now I’m 30 and we all live with our parents
“And my wife,” he said, “she kicked me out”
I said, Same here
Guess I’ll see you ’round
(I’ll see you around)
Guess I’ll see you ’round
(I’ll see you around)

Michael Praytor
Michael Praytor
So random
Who knows why some satellites
Come by and then they disappear

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One thought on “Song of the Day #1,631: ‘Michael Praytor, Five Years Later’ – Ben Folds Five

  1. Dana says:

    Completely agree. This is a great song on a great album. So happy to see the band back together again.

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