Song of the Day #2,108: ‘Kate’ – Ben Folds Five

whateverOn a film podcast I listed to recently, the hosts discussed Sight & Sound‘s decision to no longer let critics combine The Godfather and The Godfather Part Two into one entry when submitting their “ten best films of all time” lists.

It’s no doubt the correct decision. It’s patently unfair to let two masterpieces join forces in facing off against individual films. But they tell such a potent and tragic tale together that you kind of want to bend the rules and just go with it.

I feel similarly about the first two Ben Folds Five albums — their self-titled debut and Whatever and Ever Amen (on which today’s SOTD, ‘Kate,’ appears).

These albums are the yin and yang, the alpha and omega, of Ben Folds Five’s greatness. They would go on to record two more studio albums — one a couple of years after these and one more than a decade after that — but neither matched the exuberance, the furious musicality or the creative abandon of these two records.

I’ve long called the self-titled debut my favorite album (not just of Ben Folds Five’s, but of all time). But every time I hear a cut from Whatever and Ever Amen, I can’t help but feel that it’s just as good a record.

The Godfather and Godfather Part Two of the indie pop world.

She plays wipeout on the drums
The squirrels and the birds come
Gather around to sing the guitar
Oh I, have you got nothing to say

When all words fail she speaks
Her mix tape’s a masterpiece
Walks through the garden
So the roses can see
Oh I, have you got nothing to say
And you can see the daisies
In her footsteps
Dandelions, butterflies
I want to be Kate

Everyday she wars the same thing
I think she smokes pot
She’s everything I need, She’s everything I’m not
Oh I,
Have you got nothing to say

She never gets wet
She smiles and it’s a rainbow
And she speaks and she breathes
I want to be Kate

Down by the Rosemary and Cameron
She hands out the
Bhagaved Gita
I see her around every couple days
I want to meet her so that
I can say, hey Kate

One thought on “Song of the Day #2,108: ‘Kate’ – Ben Folds Five

  1. Dana says:

    Well, I’m not sure the Godfather combination comparison works so well for these albums, as the second isn’t really a continuation or sequel to the first, but I understand the sentiment. With a gun to my head, I might actually rank the band’s sophomore effort above the debut, but it would be close.

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