Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Rediscovery

To start off, I have to admit that I have been slacking. I was supposed to do one of these music posts on my wife’s blog once a month, but I’m a slacker and I think this is only my second post. Sorry Love! Now on to the music!

The other day, my wife asked “Where is the Ben Folds CD?” I didn’t think much of it at the time, she found it and had been listening to it for a couple days by the time I was driving in the van with the family and it was on. From the first song on the CD “Still Fighting It,” through the rest of the CD, I was re-smitten (I made that up).

I had forgotten how completely awesome some of Ben Folds (and the various incarnations of his bands) are.

Here is a rundown of some of my favorite songs (and favorites of the family).

I love this song. Period. Double Period. Triple Period. This song is right up there on my list of perfect songs. I don’t think there is anything about this song that I don’t like. I am not sure I like the video though. If that is really his son, it might be cool (which I think it is), but it’s kind of goofy if it’s not really his son.

The best line from this song is “Twenty years from now maybe we’ll both sit down and have a few beers and I can tell you about today and how I picked you up and everything changed.” Now, I’m not into beer, I don’t drink, but it’s a great image of sitting down with your child and telling them how they changed your life. It’s a feeling I’ve had before when looking at my kids playing together. How the heck did I ever live without them in my life? How did I get along without my daughters sweet little smile and my son’s big grin? Yes, there are hard times (sunny times and rain), but the experience is amazing.

The first time I heard this song, I thought it was really dull. I didn’t finish listening to it. Then, while I wasn’t paying attention completely one day, I let it play the whole way through and I was blown away. This song has a lot of power. The section near the middle where it talks about the streetlights shining through blinds is a great melodic part, and then it goes into the little piano/strings part which is awesome. The ending of that portion as it leads into the painting scene is way nice. This song is very relaxing for me, which is odd considering its about a man getting laid off. The anger that comes out as it talks about him being replaced is profound too. This really captures some of the helplessness that would come from getting laid off, but at the same time it feels hopeful to me, go figure.

This is not the official video for this song, which is kind of a cheater song, because it’s a Beatles cover. I love the Beatles, and I don’t think there could be any better person to cover this song than Ben Folds. He captures the subtlety of the simple melody and then the rawness of the chorus perfectly. I am almost tempted to say I like this version as much as the Beatles version, but that might be pushing it just a little bit. This song was covered by Ben Folds for the movie “I Am Sam” which I actually never saw. The movie was completely done with covers of Beatles songs for the soundtrack. I like a couple of the other songs from the soundtrack as well.

This song might take second place in my favorite Ben Folds songs (after “Still Fighting It”). It’s definitely more up beat than the previous two songs. The song just rocks in my opinion, I love the little scream in the middle “YOU WERE NOT THE SAME!” that can barely be heard above the ah-ahs (in the recorded version) is pure genius to me. I can listen to this song over and over and never get sick of it.

This isn’t a real “video” for the song, but it’s the best I could find on YouTube that didn’t include people trying to sing to the song at some stupid party. (OK, I don’t know if the party was stupid, but based on the number of people in the background, and the terrible job the two people do singing to it, the party looks lame). I really like this song in general, I think it’s catchy and Ben Folds only makes it better. He loves to pound away on that piano and I think it’s great.

This was one that my wife wanted me to look up originally and I ended up really liking. I definitely like this better than the original Burt Bacharach version. It’s a bit more raw with the guitar in it, and I think is just done better. You can hate me for liking it better if you want, but I’ll get over it.

This is another “non-video” of the song, give me a break, it’s better than a kick in the head right?! I loved this song when it was popular back in the day when the Flaming Lips released it as a rock song. This lounge remake is awesome as well. I think it still captures the song very well and the harmonies are great in the chorus.

This is a song that is hilarious to me, especially after watching the video. Ben Folds doesn’t take himself too seriously. The video has the language cleaned up which is nice. That would be my only complaint about Ben Folds, he likes to drop the F-bomb now and then in his songs, which means I just don’t listen to those songs (unless they are edited). I like the little organ in the background in parts of this song; the little melody it plays is awesome.

This song…is…awesome. I don’t know what else to say about this song. It is just a great melodic piece, and I really like the addition of the orchestra in the video.

After watching this video, I like this song even more. I’ll now envision a pirate Ben Folds playing the piano with hooks instead of hands. There really never is a moment of truth for you if you don’t learn to live with what you are.

This song is just amazing piano, and it’s a song about narcolepsy! Never has falling to sleep on a dime when you don’t necessarily want to been so cool! This song is either really about a guy who has narcolepsy, or it’s a clever way of saying the guy is detached, or sleeping through his life and not understanding what is going on around him.

Last, but not least, is “Don’t Change Your Plans For Me.” This was one of the earlier Ben Folds songs I ever heard and I still really like it. Ben’s voice is great in this song. He has a great range and does a great job of showing it off in this one, along with the great harmonies that Ben Folds Five was really good at. The simple brass part is really catchy to me for some reason. I also really like the line “You have made me smile again, in fact I might be sore from it, it’s been a while.” Pure genius.

As you can see, I have liked the performance Ben did with the WASO group. I generally like the addition of symphony orchestras to songs.

Here’s a playlist for your listening pleasure. I tried to find versions of the songs which were edited, or songs that do not include stuff that needs to be edited at all.

5 comments:

Stacey said...

Loved this post and love Ben Folds...a friend of mine introduced me about five years ago and I'm hooked, loved all the insight, hope to see you post again sooner than later!

Kirstin said...

Love the cameo by Weird Al on the Radio store song. The kids liked watching that one. :) Thanks for picking the edited version.

Also, was the "luckiest" on a movie or something? It sounds super familiar.

Kirstin said...

And when I said Radio store song, what I meant was Radio Star. haha.

slide said...

"The Luckiest" has probably been on some movies, I'm not sure. I think I've heard it on one or two before.

Boy said...

Awesome