Ben Folds

Songs For Silverman

[3] In AP 199’s In The Studio, Ben Folds said his new album would be more “organic and dirtier” than any previous release in his solo career. He wasn’t lying; of course, he could’ve just said, “I’m making another Ben Folds Five record,” and no one would’ve been the wiser. From the fuzzed-out bass on “Bastard” and the jazzy instrumental interludes on “You To Thank” to the almost overpowering vocal harmonies and strings on “Jesusland” (and that’s just the first three tracks!), Songs For Silverman plays out like a sequel to BF5’s last album, The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner, with one key element missing: humor. Folds’ lyrical style-typically witty while retaining poignancy-seems to be going through a midlife crisis. When “Weird Al” Yankovic guests on your album and still nothing gets a laugh, you know you’re having problems. (EPIC)-Scott Heisel