Featuring: "You Don't Know Me" (Ft. Regina Spektor), "Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)" & "Cologne". This Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box set includes 60-minute Bonus DVD with live tracks, music videos, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and more in a 36-page casebound book. The Box set also includes an 8-song Live CD not available elsewhere and a collectible 2'x3' florescent poster!
Entertainment Weekly - p.76
"[T]he piano man pounds the ivories with undiminished fervor -- and lyrical venom....Folds shows off his gentler side on the confessional tune 'You Don't Know Me'..." -- Grade: B+
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1023 stars out of 5
-- "Folds crashes about on piano and throws in string arrangements that lurch from melancholy to chaotic discord..."
Paste (magazine) (p.56) - "These 12 songs are more of an anthropological study of aberrant human behavior, idiosyncratic news stories and bizrre chapers of the musician's own autobiography, all observed with the same unstinting absurdist eye as J.D. Salinger when he penned NINE STORIES more than 50 years ago."
Composer/Lyricist: Ben Folds.
Personnel: Ben Folds (vocals, piano, Wurlitzer piano, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer); Jared Reynolds (vocals, bass guitar); Sam Smith (vocals, drums).
Additional personnel: Lindsay Jamieson (drums).
Audio Mixers: Leon Overtoom; Michael Brauer.
Audio Remasterer: Leon Overtoom.
Arranger: Ben Folds.
While the delightfully silly opener, "Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)," is a particularly obvious nod to Elton John, one of the many dynamic pop keyboardists Ben Folds has frequently been compared to (also see: Billy Joel, Todd Rundgren), WAY TO NORMAL brings to mind another pianist who rose to power in the 1970s. With its quirky, witty wonderings about the neuroses of love and God and country, Folds's third record recalls Randy Newman post-LITTLE CRIMINALS--bright, bouncy, and buoyant, yet subtly twisted.
On "You Don't Know Me," Folds softly trades a cooing call-and-response with Regina Spektor, as perfect rapport and playful rhapsody disguise lyrics of human isolation in destructive love. The ultra-hooky "Brainwascht" fools around in the "You're So Vain" vein as Folds continues a beef with an unnamed busybody songwriter friend, all while a deceptively perky Bacharach-esque plays behind him. While he's still able to romp in the just plain goofy style that originally brought him attention in the Ben Folds Five days, particularly on the pun-happy Midwest walkabout "Effington," Folds is at his mature best when confronting exhausted honesty as on closing track, "Kylie From Connecticut."