“Selfless, Cold, and Composed”, etc.

I’m obsessed with this song. It’s angsty and vengeful while at the same time remaining… well, cold and composed. Something about the way Ben Folds can effortlessly describe the desperation of a relationship’s ending is so gripping. I think in particular the line, “Come on baby now throw me a right to the chin/just one sign that can show me that you give a shit” —imploring any kind of emotion to be shown in lieu of total detachment—is brilliant.

But it took me a few listens for this song to catch on – to be honest, I wasn’t struck by it until I heard an a cappella version. More on that in a minute.

Another great song from the same album is “Fair”, which similarly describes broken love, but with an almost whimsical sound. It’s a somewhat bizarre juxtaposition when you compare the intense story described by the lyrics (like, um, dude getting hit by a car as the girl tries to apologize?!) to the jazzy, upbeat piano solos and vocals, but honestly it really works. The incongruous storylines compared to the musical styles of a song are kinda typical of Ben Folds Five.

 Also, a couple years ago, Ben Folds actually produced an entire album of his songs being performed by various collegiate a cappella groups around the country. It’s uncreatively titled “Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella”, but it’s really cool. These reinspired renditions of his most popular songs are definitely worth a listen:

There’s way more to be said about Ben Folds (Five), because he’s definitely one my favorite artists, both with the Five and solo. But for now, I’ll stick with these two songs.

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~ by Marcus on 04/23/2012.

Come at me, bro.

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