Ben Folds Five
Whatever and Ever Amen
The Music Box's #3 album for 1997
First Appeared in The Music Box, February 1998, Volume 5, #2
Written by John Metzger
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).
Of Further Interest...
Whatever and Ever Amen is available from
Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1998 The Music Box