It’s been five years since Ben Folds’ last album release, and that one (2015’s So There) was a collaboration with a chamber orchestra, with half of its running time dedicated to an instrumental suite.
That makes it a full decade since his last full-length release, 2010’s Lonely Avenue, and on that album he handed the lyrical reins to novelist Nic Hornby. Which makes it 12 years since Folds released an album of his own material. That was 2008’s Way to Normal, a decent collection but one that too often found Folds relying on sophomoric humor.
Today’s track, from a three-disc retrospective Folds released in 2011, feels like an outtake from Way to Normal. In fact, it’s a B-side from his first solo album, 2001’s Rockin’ the Suburbs, a much more sober release.
‘The Secret Life Of Morgan Davis’ find Folds playing with a musical theater style, in the service of some rather lame lyrics.
She wants to sleep
But all that Morgan Davis wants is cream of wheat
He wakes and then she turns out the light
He tiptoes through the darkness and slips into the night
The boring life that he leads of buying and
Selling stocks makes him feel
He’s growing old and tired there’s no joy in life
Just the passing time in this boring life
He wants the lights the jazz
A piece of ass
A toothless bitch to blow him for a vial of crack
He cooks the junk in some Gatorade
He scores a bag of chronic on the east MLK
The secret life that he leads of buying and
Selling drugs keeps him up at night
He’s selling hash screwing trailer trash
And he’s making cash
It’s a whoring life
My friends are all salesman
My wife is a slut
There must be something bigger I can stick in my butt
The IRS is auditing
My life’s in a rut!
And so he’s fired his heat
He’s blowed his blow
It’s coming up on sunrise and it’s time to go
He smells like barf his hair’s a mess
He wipes the coke and lipstick off his fat hairy chest
He stumbles home from a lezzie show
He’ll be at work in an hour or so
He crawls in bed with his sleeping wife
Just a night to break up his boring life
I really feel that, when considering Ben Folds’ output, you have to consider “Sound of the Life of the Mind” released 8 years ago as well. While the other 2 members of BFF had some level of influence into that album, it, like the rest of BFF records, is dominated by Folds. At this point, I would be thrilled if Folds released new material either solo or with BFF.