Song of the Day #4,386: ‘2020’ – Ben Folds

Always nice to hear new music from Ben Folds, whose last album (a half-instrumental collaboration with chamber ensemble yMusic) came out five years ago, and whose last traditional album was released five years before that.

Folds’ new song, ‘2020,’ was inspired (if that’s the right word) by the crazy combination of disasters visited upon the United States this year. Here’s hoping he has more new material on the way.

[Verse 1]
New Year’s Eve, don’t it seem
Like decades ago?
Back in 2019
Back when life was slow

[Chorus]
Now it’s June, we’re just halfway done
2020, hey, are we having fun?
How many years will we try
To cram into one?

[Verse 2]
We thought we’d be living 1918 again
But we messed that up so bad
God had to toss 1930 in

[Chorus]
As the sun rose on 1968 this morning
A tweet from the john
Please let’s not add the Civil War
How many years will we cram into one?

[Bridge]
Oh boy
How much more will she take?
Boys, hope you enjoy
Your beautiful tax break

[Instrumental]

[Chorus]
We’re not repeating history, just the parts that sucked
2020, what the actual fuck?
Pray we get through, but hey, don’t hold your breath
‘Cause there’s plenty left to wreck
We got six months left

[Outro]
How many years
How many years will we try
How many years will we try
To cram into one?

Song of the Day #4,182: ‘Doc Pomus’ – Ben Folds

Best Albums of the 2010s – #10
Lonely Avenue – Ben Folds (2010)

Ben Folds, one of my favorite artists, had a very lean decade. His last solo release was 2015’s So There, an album recorded with the chamber ensemble yMusic that featured a handful of songs plus an orchestral piece. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 2010.

But that 2010 album was a doozy. Written in collaboration with novelist/screenwriter Nick Hornby, Lonely Avenue is possibly Folds’ best work outside of Ben Folds Five (and speaking of that trio, 2012 did see a very good reunion album by the band titled The Sound of the Life of the Mind).

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Song of the Day #4,097: ‘Hiroshima (Japanese Version)’ – Ben Folds

Ben Folds wrote a song called ‘Hiroshima’ for his 2008 album Way To Normal. The lyrics describe a time he was performing in Japan and fell off the stage, suffering a semi-serious head injury. He continued playing as blood poured down his face.

Apparently he later returned to Japan and performed that song in Japanese, which is the version presented here. It appeared on an alternate version of Way To Normal called Stems and Seeds, which included different mixes of the original album’s tracks plus other odds and ends.

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Song of the Day #3,973: ‘The Ascent of Stan’ – Ben Folds

My top four albums of 2001 are so good that I really could have presented them in any order. I settled on the lineup I did based on a quick dive into each album right here and now, so these rankings reflect my current mood as much as anything.

At #4 is Ben Folds’ first solo album, Rockin’ the Suburbs. Ben Folds Five had split up a year earlier following the release of their third studio album, and this record marked Folds’ shift into what would become a fascinating and successful solo career.

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Song of the Day #3,859: ‘One Down (Live)’ – Ben Folds

Ben Folds is such a good songwriter that he can’t deliver a bad tune even when he wants to.

‘One Down’ is about a time Folds’ record company required him to write 4.6 songs in order to fulfill his contract. Apparently he received .4 worth of credit for an earlier co-written song.

He shit this one out (as he colorfully puts it) to chip away at the obligation.

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