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One Track Mind: Ben Folds Five “Jane”

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Like last week's OTM, we're profiling a song played by a pianist whose preferred method of attack is the trio format. Aside than that, there's nothing that could be more different about today's flavor, as we go from a "twenty-six minute long" cerebral jazz track to a three-minute pop tune. And since it's pop, I'm not going to bother to dissect Folds' Fender Rhodes or Robert Sledge's fuzz bass that roars up from the calm in the last chorus.

No, I'm not even going to give you the usual paragraph or two devoted to providing an artist background because everyone should know who this guy Ben Folds is. I will say that I like "Jane" because it's a fine example of Folds practicing the long lost art of writing a memorable melancholy melody (watch out, I'm an alliteratin' fool!), pair it with serious, comforting lyrics, and put it all in the nice, warm wrapper of a vintage Rhodes.

So next time you pull out your copy of The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, instead of playing "Army" and "Regrets" over and over again and skipping over the rest, take a break from Ben's gleeful irreverence and pretend that Joe Jackson or Todd Rundgren had returned to form. It's easy to imagine when you listen to "Jane."

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Listen: Ben Folds Five "Jane"

"One Track Mind" is a weekly drool over a single song seemingly selected at random and a short thesis on why you should be drooling over it, too.

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About Pico

  • http://blogcabins.blogspot.com Fletch

    Granted, I am a big Ben Folds (and Ben Folds Five) fan, and I’ll grant you “Army” as it’s the standout on the album, but my next favorites are “Narcolepsy,” “Don’t Change Your Plans,” “Mess” and “Your Redneck Past.”

    Nice post.

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    Reinhold is a masterpiece of a record, Pico, and “Jane” is one of the great moments on it. “Jane” is a near-perfect piece of pop piano playing (yeah, fuckers, I can alliterate, too!). Great song.

    I also love “Lullaby.” What a great record!

  • http://daslob.blogspot.com/ Pico

    Sounds like you’ve got the makings of a pretty good CD review of Reinhold, there, Josh *grin*

    Glad to see others like this record, too. I could have selected any of a number of tracks from that album for an OTM.

  • http://homeofficeenvy.com long

    Naked Baby Photos is the best Ben Folds Five work, period.

    Check it out.