While Ben Folds Five’s debut album is a seemingly impossible act to follow, the band’s second CD Wherever and Ever Amen was absolutely up to the task. Folds expanded his palette, making use of strings, horns and studio trickery to produce a stunning collection of songs. It would be a struggle to find another artist or band whose first two albums are as satisfying as these.
As with Ben Folds Five, it is hard to choose a song to highlight from Whatever and Ever Amen. From the hard-rocking opening track ‘One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces’ (incidentally, the only song in my catalog of over 8,000 that contains the word “dwarf”) to the delicate closer, ‘Evaporated,’ all of these songs are worthy of the spotlight.