Bullz-Eye Home
The Opposite Sex
Stuff to Buy
Guides & Reviews
Movie DVDs
City Guide
Web Guide
Premium Members

Join  Enter

Cool Links

All Pro Models
Premium Hollywood
EatSleepDrink Music
Sports Blog
Cleveland Sports
Political Humor

CD Reviews:  Ben Folds: Rockin' the Suburbs

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Rating:

Buy your copy now from


Ben Folds is pop's reigning Smartass Extraordinaire, the kid in school who would make all of the jocks laugh so they wouldn't beat him up for being so much smarter than they were. It's humor as a defense mechanism, and Folds wields it like a machete. All the while, however, he's deadly serious, and his observations, even those in jest, are dead on the money. His newest album, Rockin' The Suburbs, has the same amount of painfully accurate observations as his work with the late Ben Folds Five, but it's the familiarity of the music that ultimately does him in. 

The title track, however, is a classic, even if it borders dangerously on novelty; it's half tribute and full laceration of the rap-rock scene, and one of the funniest songs to come down the pipe in years. Take your pick as to whom the song is really about with lines like "Y'all don't know what it's like / Being male, middle class and white," (my guess: all of them). But Folds really sticks it to them in terms of subject matter ("All alone in my white boy pain / Shake your booty while the band complains") and actual musicianship ("I take the checks and face the facts / That some producer with computers fixes all my shitty tracks") The song is an open letter to all of these Angry White Males, asking, "What could you possibly be so unhappy about?" I'm curious to hear the answer. 

However, the fun stops there. For those who are into said rap-rock and get the title track's joke, be advised that the rest of the album is vintage Folds, which owes more to Burt Bacharach than Korn. Take "Losing Lisa," a gorgeous, bouncy 1960s-era lounge pop ode to a newly ex-girlfriend, or "The Ascent of Stan," a lament about a radical who sold out ("First you wanted revolution / Now you're the institution / How's it feel to be the man?"). What brings the album down, however, is not the lack of non-stop laughs but slow-as-molasses buzz killer ballads like "Fred Jones Part 2," or songs like "Carrying Cathy," a very pretty tune but way too similar to "Selfless, Cold and Composed," from Ben Folds Five's second album, Whatever and Ever, Amen

Grant Folds some slack, though. This is his first solo album, and from the sound of it he had a few things left over from his tenure fronting the Five that wound up clashing slightly with his new material. This may be a misstep, but even his mistakes are better than some people's best work. 

~David Medsker

Other Ben Folds reviews:
Ben Folds Live (2002)
 : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

© 2000-2005®, All Rights Reserved. Contact the webmaster with questions or comments. Privacy Policy and Site Map