The Beatles got here by unanimously toppling poor Shakira, while Folds bested The Smiths with a sizable 86% of the vote. Both of these acts have strong support among my readership. Continue reading
I figured it was appropriate to pull out the mack-daddy of father/daughter songs today. I have a few others I love (and I promise to feature one on June 20, my other daughter’s birthday) but ‘Gracie’ by Ben Folds is the one song to rule them all.
Appearing on Folds’ Songs for Silverman, this is one of the songs that caused fair-weather fans to dismiss him as soft. Those morons hadn’t been paying much attention to the rest of his career.
After seeing Ben Folds in concert last year, my sister made a comment that I think sums him up pretty well. She said he’s split down the middle between a very sincere and sensitive soul on the one hand and an obnoxious frat boy on the other.
The former is responsible for such achingly profound songs as ‘Alice Childress,’ ‘Gracie,’ ‘Missing the War,’ and ‘Jesusland’ (among many many others). The latter plays to the drunk idiots with songs such as ‘Bitch Went Nuts,’ ‘Bitches Ain’t Shit,’ and ‘Errant Dog.’ He brings the same level of outstanding musicianship to all of the above, but you have to wonder why he’s reluctant to grow up. Or why he doesn’t trust his audience to grow up with him.
Folds’ second solo album, Songs for Silverman, contained his most mature and sublime work yet… almost on par with the first two Ben Folds Five albums.
I remember reading a lot of “fan” criticism that the album lacked the gutter humor and anarchic style of some of Folds’ earlier work and his live shows. As if the gorgeous ‘Jesusland‘ or achingly sweet ‘Gracie’ were somehow lacking. Give me a break! I love that Folds is able to excel in multiple styles.
His second album, Songs for Silverman, is his most mature and nuanced work yet, something that didn’t go over well with a lot of his fans. Now, I’m not sure what sort of Ben Folds fan you are if you don’t like that album, but I suppose you’re the sort who is drawn to jokey stuff like ‘Song for the Dumped’ and ‘Rockin’ the Suburbs’ and oblivious to such sublime work as ‘Alice Childress,’ ‘Missing the War’ and ‘The Luckiest.’