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Ben Folds – Speed Graphic

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Since breaking up the 3-piece known as the Bens Fold Five, the band’s namesake and leader has been busy. Honestly, I am not sure if he even has a record deal anymore, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Folds has been releasing EP’s etc without a whole lot of fanfare. Here is what Ben has to say on his website.

    “quietly releasing my music as EP’s allow me to get it out there as i finish it. with a minimum of hype. it’s for people who buy my music anyway. it won’t be sold in the big ass chains, because that puts the price up and starts the big ass machinery – press, radio etc. then i have to pose naked at the piano, and really, i’m not a piece of meat, you know. the music will be available at gigs, and online, and on vinyl in some smaller stores.”

I procured my copy of Speed Graphic from Itunes after hearing “Wandering” in Kevin Smith’s new movie “Jersey Girl.” I have always been a fan of Ben Folds, but I was unaware of his new status acting like an unsigned musician with grass roots ep’s and unconventional release methods.

As for the music on the EP, it is pretty typical Ben Folds stuff. By that, I mean it is pretty good. From the speedy cover, “In Between Days,” to the piano balladeer styled, “Give Judy my Notice,” this is something that will tide over Folds fans until he releases a full-length album.

If you try out this EP, do it because of “Wandering.” This is one of the most beautiful tracks that Folds has ever written. Although you might never want to hear the song again because it was so overplayed, this song is on par with “Brick.” Ben Folds has mastered the grandiose chord progression, while playing it and singing it as delicately as possible. The results are nice. This song will make many mix CD’s in the future.

This first appeared at RockDummy.com

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About Craig Lyndall

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    Folds has given up on the EP idea and is working on a solo album right now. He was supposed to release three EPs and then an album, but the EP thing just fizzled after the second one. I’m not sure if the third is ever going to come out or if it’s being rolled into his new album.

    Personally, I thought both EPs were spotty, but the second, Sunny 16, was better overall. Check out my review of Speed Graphic if’n yer curious.

  • Emily Fio

    I thought that Ben’s EP’s had a great mix of music, with choice songs on par with my favorites from his previous cds. “There’s Always Someone Cooler than You” is a prime example of Ben Fold’s subtle humor at his best, making fun of himself and all others. And his foray into political issues in “All U Can Eat” was carried off masterfully, never becoming too cynical but clearly making his point. The songs on these EPs are definitely part of my routine listening collection.