Because all albums inevitably leak onto the Internet weeks before their release, Folds figured he’d embrace that fact and leak it himself. Only he didn’t leak the actual album, but instead recorded joke version of six album tracks and put those out alongside a couple of “real” songs.
Because I’ve left just one Ben Folds studio album uncovered, I’m adding a bonus day in order to cover all the bases.
Folds’ third solo offering, 2008’s Way to Normal, was a big step down for the man responsible for the albums I’ve covered over the past five days. While I found myself frustrated that I could pick only one song from each of the others CDs, in this case it was a struggle to pick one I like enough to feature.
Ten Best Songs of 2008 – #6
Yesterday I wrote about my biggest surprise of 2008… now I come to my biggest disappointment.
Ben Folds is one of my very favorite artists and through his career with both Ben Folds Five and as a soloist, he has almost never made a wrong step. But his latest album, Way to Normal, is his first to leave me cold.
Following his recent (and third) divorce, he decided to steer clear of the traditional breakup album and release something frivolous instead. And that’s fine. But this particular batch of songs is beneath his extraordinary talents — laden with unnecessary profanity and sophomoric humor, light on melody and heavy on monotony. I hope his next album steps up to the plate and apologizes for this one.
Way to Normal is definitely Folds’ worst album, but it isn’t bad by any means. It just feels like a big step down from the wonderful Songs for Silverman and Rockin’ the Suburbs — not to mention his work with Ben Folds Five.