Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ben Folds Five|
The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Simultaneously challenging and accessible, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner is a song cycle about death and dying, people, relationships, optimism, innocence--you name it. On his first two albums, Ben Folds w... more »
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Simultaneously challenging and accessible, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner is a song cycle about death and dying, people, relationships, optimism, innocence--you name it. On his first two albums, Ben Folds was quick to toss off bombs of blame (most notably on the vitriolic "Song for the Dumped"), but here he aims most of his criticism at the mirror. On the wondrously snarky "Redneck Past" he sings, "My ex-wives all despise me / try to put it all behind me / but my redneck past is nipping at my heels." Apparently he doesn't have a chip on his piano any more. The production is lush and ornate, with strings and horns embellishing Folds's usual quota of to-die-for hooks (which he seems to dash off as effortlessly as postcards from the beach). An obvious point of reference is Pet Sounds, but Ben Folds Five widen their scope to also include hints of Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, and even Queen, whose influence is front and center on the bombastic opener "Narcolepsy," a virtual homage to "Bohemian Rhapsody." Other highlights include "Army," a hilariously detailed indie-rock answer to Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant." --David Menconi
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Stove Capital | Dearborn, MI United States | 01/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After reading other customer reviews, it seems that many were confused by what Ben Folds Five was doing with this album. "Reinhold Messner" covers a lifespan in reverse, starting with death and then moving backwards through time. "Narcolepsy" portrays having to face the inevitability of death, even when not ready ("I'm going to sleep...but i'm not tired"). "Magic" presents loved ones coping and coming to terms with an impending death ("we knew you'd be gone as soon as you could, and I hoped you would"). "Hospital Song" is about the first time you face your own mortality, and the denial that often results from it.
This album is nearly a masterpiece in my opinion, and one of the better "concept" albums to come along in quite some time. BFF refused to release a carbon copy of "Whatever and Ever, Amen" and instead chose to take their formula and improve upon it. Definitely 5 starts in my book."