Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen

Ben Folds Five
Whatever and Ever Amen

(Sony/550 Music)

The Music Box's #3 album for 1997

First Appeared in The Music Box, February 1998, Volume 5, #2

Written by John Metzger

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Ben Folds Five is a three-piece band that on Whatever and Ever Amen has pieced together quite a collection of songs. Every tune here is an infectious pop-gem that is geared towards the apathetic, post-adolescent crowd. Folds' sense of humor is on par with Phish, and this can lend a hilarious twist to the lyrics. Yet, his joviality can quickly vanish when he opts to paint his rather bleak portraits of life. Brick, a sad-eyed tale of abortion, is a perfect example, as is Selfless, Cold, and Composed. Both songs match dark lyrics with a beautiful musical score, highlighted by Folds' outstanding keyboard playing.

At times, Ben Folds Five's sound is eerily close to Todd Rundgren, while at other times the trio can whip a song into a frenzy, much like a jazzy version of Cream or the Jimi Hendrix Experience. All of this is wrapped up in grand style of Brian Wilson's masterpiece for Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, along with a smattering of The Beatles and even a touch of Electric Light Orchestra and Jerry Lee Lewis. (Check out Kate for a conglomeration of all of these). starstarstarstar

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Of Further Interest...

Randy & The Bloody Lovelies - Lift

Phish - The Story of the Ghost

Weezer - Make Believe

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Whatever and Ever Amen is available from
Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright 1998 The Music Box