Poll

Which is your favourite song from the new album (real version)?

Hiroshima
1 (1.9%)
Dr. Yang
5 (9.6%)
The Frown Song
2 (3.8%)
You Don't Know Me
6 (11.5%)
Before Cologne
0 (0%)
Cologne
7 (13.5%)
Errant Dog
2 (3.8%)
Free Coffee
0 (0%)
Bitch Went Nuts
3 (5.8%)
Brainwascht
5 (9.6%)
Effington
10 (19.2%)
Kylie from Connecticut
11 (21.2%)

Total Members Voted: 51

Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]

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Offline You Dont Know Zach

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2008, 11:31:47 PM »
Yeah, a lot of times it's the record company execs who pressure mastering engineers into squashing.  That said, at least WtN doesn't set any new records for compression/clipping the way that Metallica's new joke album does.
Now I like their new album, and I think that either a)they wanted it that loud because they thought it would be cool or b) the record execs made them do it. I have a huge amount of respect for Rick Rubin and I think he did a bang up job on System of a Down's last album and it sounded awesome it was like my ears were in ecstasy listening to Mezmerize/Hypnotize.
dont overplay, keep it simple and in the pocket, support the song, and you will be asked to play more than you have time to. - Chuck Folds

http://www.last.fm/user/YoudontknowZach

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Offline MongrelPiano

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2008, 02:17:00 AM »
Now I like their new album, and I think that either a)they wanted it that loud because they thought it would be cool or b) the record execs made them do it. I have a huge amount of respect for Rick Rubin and I think he did a bang up job on System of a Down's last album and it sounded awesome it was like my ears were in ecstasy listening to Mezmerize/Hypnotize.

According to what I read, Deff Magnetik's mastering engineer is quoted as saying that it got squashed in the mxing stage as opposed to the mastering stage, and that it sounds exactly the way the band wanted it.  I mean just from listening to the iTunes samples you can hear the horrible digital distortion, that's how bad it is.  Never underestimate Metallica when it comes to douchiness! :P


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Offline bENFOLDS

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2008, 04:06:35 AM »
I have a huge amount of respect for Rick Rubin and I think he did a bang up job on System of a Down's last album

He didn't do such a great job on Minutes to Midnight though, did he? I mean, if a band decides its high time to completely change their sound, with a man of his reputation you'd expect the transition to be smoother. By all means, the album was good but for me it was just a random collection of different sounding songs...
I am Jack's quote out of context.

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Offline kingrikk (Kirk)

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2008, 04:53:05 AM »
OK, so after my scathing first impression last night, I thought I'd expand, and this seemed the place to do it, even if it has gone a bit OT.

Firstly, I still feel this Album is far too over produced. After seeing what Ben is capable of with WKAP, it's a real pity to have his own album ruined by a producer who seemingly doesn't know when to stop. Many of the songs are really nice - Cologne, Brainwascht, Kylie, Errant Dog, YDKM. But they'd be much nicer if they didn't sound like a wall of noise. And weren't so stupidly horribly compressed. As was said up thread, you can hear all the edits, and it all sounds so... unrealistic. Part of the reason I like Ben is that his albums sound real, not overprocessed multipart pop. That all ends with WTN, it seems.

I don't do number ratings, just words - sorry.

Hiroshima - Hmm. It's catchy. But it's about a minute too long. I get bored halfway through, and it's only 3:37. It's great live though, and it will continue to be a nice audience participation one.

Dr Yang - I'm torn with this one. I partly like it, and again, live I'm sure it'll be great. But the fuzz is just TOO LOUD! Can't hear the melody! I love the fake one too - as silly as it is, it's a much better song!

The Frown Song - Yeah, this is OK. I like the synth. Not the most exciting melody ever.

You Don't Know Me - Yay! Great.

Before Cologne & Cologne - Gah! The Piano Orchestra version is perfect. Emotionally charged, beautiful and enchanting. This is a piece of crap. What is that massive flat, drum machine sounding drum beat a la Annie Waits doing there? And the vocals?

Errant Dog - A lovely song, (too compressed), great live. I like this one.

Free Coffee - The distorted sound is great. However, on this album version, it's hit the limiter and gone all sparkly and broken sounding. From the way the vocals are all over the place as well, it really sounds like an equipment fault rather than intentional. Pity, I'm one of the few who actually likes this song. It surely must be intentional, but who knows why. It sounds awful and makes me feel sick.

Bitch Went Nuts - I like this. Nice upbeat mad song. The guy reading the speech is the wrong voice for it though.

Brainwashed - Yeah! Vocals sound awful though. (Again)

Effington - It's OK, I suppose. I keep thinking it's a little lame really.

Kylie from Connecticut - I like this one lots. I didn't when I heard it on the bootlegs, but I do now. Some classic Ben string action in the middle.

So that's that.

Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2008, 07:21:16 AM »
Hiroshima
Never been a fan of this quasi-studio version.  I get what he was going for and am glad it's the opener, so it doesn't kill the flow of the rest of the album.

Dr. Yang
I enjoy the vocal range.  Beyond that, I don't know yet, but I do prefer it to the fake version.

The Frown Song
There are definitely some catchy melodies in the song, though I can't tell if the synths are detrimental or not yet.  I think they'll grow on me (Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles has similar sounding synths on it).  Drastically better than the fake version.

You Don't Know Me
I've listened to this and Hiroshima the most since they were released awhile back.  It's an okay song, but I don't know if it's first single material.  Certainly works better on the album than it did live, but still seems a bit disjointed.

Before Cologne
I'm not sure why this isn't part of Cologne, but it's nice nonethless.

Cologne
At first I thought I liked the DVD version better, but I think I like the instrumentation better on this one.  I suspect this could be a single at some point, and think it's superior to You Don't Know Me.

Errant Dog
Seemed a little bit hokey to me when I first heard it (thought it should be a B-side instead).

Free Coffee
Experimental instrumentation for sure...I think this one worked better live.  Feels like a building experiment that never quite gets off the ground.  I think I prefer the fake version to this one.

Bitch Went Nuts
A good song, though I may prefer the fake version to it because the lyrics to that one are so great.  Nonetheless one of my favorite songs on the album.

Brainwascht
Some good melody in this one - I prefer it to the fake one.  Good driving beat.

Effington
This was one of my favorite songs when I first heard the whole album, but it seems in hindsight to work much better live.  Maybe it'll re-grow on me.

Kylie from Connecticut
Great song, especially the middle of it.  Worked really well live too.  Probably the right song to close the album as well.  Feels a lot like Nick Drake/Duncan Sheik/Beck (Sea Change).

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Offline SexTypeNeil

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2008, 07:57:54 AM »
Does anyone else think that errant dog sounds a lot more like Mojosha?
Seconds pass slowly, and years go flyin by

Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2008, 08:22:27 AM »
Does anyone else think that errant dog sounds a lot more like Mojosha?

It sounds a little bit like it, but it reminds me more of the Dog song off his EP a little while back.

Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2008, 03:28:31 PM »
Thought a dull Sunday afternoon was as good a time as any to revive this thread..........


Hiroshima- Not the strongest opener by any means, but the lyrics are fun and the music is decent enough as it clunks along. I actually like the addition of the crowd noise and especially the strings. Without the extra sounds, it'd be much more obvious that the song is basically the same four chords getting pounded over and over.

Dr. Yang- This one has definately had to grow on me a lot, but I like it, though the big bass explosions make the whole track seem sort of disjointed. Ben's vocal performance from about halfway through onward is stellar, though.

The Frown Song- Another track that has really had to grow on me, and while I dig it now, it's still not one of my favorites. They synths are cool, but they don't necessarily add a whole lot to it. Kind of reminds me of All U Can Eat, lyric wise.

You Don't Know Me- I loved this one the first time I heard it off the "leak" and I still love it now. It's the weird little pop song that keeps on giving. Regina's background vocals kick ass.

(before) Cologne- One of my favorites, though there's still a special place in my heart for the orchestrated version. But I don't think that one would have worked well with the rest of the record; where as this stripped down version makes for a fantastic centerpiece. The strings are a nice touch and I like the little "that's it" Ben utters at the end.

Errant Dog- this was one of my least favorites live, but I've enjoyed the studio cut much more then I expected. More then really anything else from Ben's solo catalogue, this song really sounds like it could have been a BFF b-side.

Free Coffee- This is going to be a very unpopular opinion at the moment, but I actually liked how this one turned out on the album. The prepared piano sounds a bit more distorted then it probably needs to be but I think that, along with the hammering drums, gives the song a really cool percussive centric groove that's really different for a Folds song. Lyrics could be better, but they work.

Bitch Went Nuts- This song is great. There's so much energy being channeled through everything, it sounds like they realy had fun working on it. The spoken word intro is okay, but I actually like the music going on underneath it better, haha.

Brainwascht- Easily my personal favorite at the moment. The driving beat is addictive and the song itself is catchy as hell. The lyrics, particularly the bridge sections, are some of the strongest on the album.

Effington- Another one of my favorites. Hearing Ben's every single breath is a bit jarring at first, but I've gotten use to it for the most part. Really, the only addition that I think could have made it better would have been backing harmonies during the second go-round of "If There's a God....." I do have one question though: Where the f*ck is Effington: The Effing Musical!! ? 

Kylie from Connecticut- Damn fine closer. I would easily put it up there with Boxing and Evaportated. Funky bass levels aside, the music is great and the string arrangements are phenominal. It's probably the strongest lyric on the whole record to boot.



Even with the weird production issues, I'm still willing to consider the idea that Way to Normal might just Ben's strongest solo effort to date. If the material is good enough, you'll have a difficult time keeping a f*cking good set of songs down.

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Offline asydlow81

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2008, 04:08:05 PM »
RTS still owns WTN, hands down.
Yes
We
Can

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Offline You Dont Know Zach

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2008, 04:55:57 PM »
no it doesn't, WtN stands on it's own merits, what with the song writing being almost better than RtS, and if it'd been his first solo release you'd say it owns RtS.
dont overplay, keep it simple and in the pocket, support the song, and you will be asked to play more than you have time to. - Chuck Folds

http://www.last.fm/user/YoudontknowZach

Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2008, 06:16:09 PM »
RTS still owns WTN, hands down.
Awesome dude. To each their own. RTS is the one album that I don't particularly care for all that much...so.....yeah.

Hooray for opinions? haha 

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Offline asydlow81

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2008, 01:51:11 PM »
no it doesn't, WtN stands on it's own merits, what with the song writing being almost better than RtS, and if it'd been his first solo release you'd say it owns RtS.

I didn't say WtN was bad...I just said RTS was better.  Even you admit there at the song writing in RTS is better.  I don't get how you are saying his his first album is relative to my enjoyment of it.  I mean, I think that the Five's albums improved over time.
Yes
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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2008, 01:45:38 AM »
Hiroshima    I like it, it's really catchy and I do find myself oh ohhhing throughout the day. I dont like the talking at the end though. It's cheesy. I do think the lyrics are a bit lame, not in a good way! But yeah, I like it and I know I'll listen to it a lot.

Dr. Yang   I like this a lot as well, I love the tempo. But that noise! aaargh. Maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough a music-listener, but I dont get it. Love the bridge though. Wish the song was a bit simpler, as I think in essence it's good.

The Frown Song   I think my criticisms are because I dont like the synth sound in anything. Chorus is good. Think I'll get bored with it. I find it hard to follow the lyrics to this song. I dont think I could tell you what it's about at this point in time! I can imagine this being a theme tune or in a movie soundtrack in some parts.

You Don't Know Me   So catchy and quirky and cool. I love this! I dont mind swearing, but kind of wish it didnt have the f*ck in the middle, as it's such a sweet anti-love song. Definitely my favourite at the moment, possibly because it's the easy listening!!

Before Cologne    Nice

Cologne    I like this song. The 4,3,2,1...is catchy and poignant and I find the whole song quite mesmeric. Just a personal thing, but I hate hate hate that he included the story about the guy driving with the diaper. It's just such a stupid image in such a beautiful song. I know that's kind of ben, but it jolts me. Some of the lyrics seem a bit squashed in this song (actually in quite a few of the songs). There are some fabulous lyrics in this album, but I thought also some quite bad ones in places
I like the line about imaginary conversation though.

Errant Dog   this is such a fun song!!! Dont really like the way they actually sing 'errant dog' and it's a bit noisy at times. But I like the melody most of the time.

Free Coffee  I didnt listen to any of the songs before I got the album, but I'd heard about this song and loved the idea of him getting free coffee now he's rich but couldnt when he was broke. I thought it'd be a cool song. I cannot get past the awful scratchiness of the song though. I dont think I could hear the lyrics because I was just trying to turn it down, and down and stop the scratching. It doesn't even sound like it's a catchy or compelling song under the scratching anyway. I'll keep skipping it.

Bitch Went Nuts   didnt like it the first time I listened to it, but I actually quite like it now! it's funny! to me this is perfect ben humour. turns a bit weird near the end but I'll ignore that. I love him laughing 'holy f*cking shit'
 
Brainwascht    better after a couple of listens. Some of the most poignant lyrics to me. I think there's real thought behind this. Although brainwashed brainwashed brainwashed etc is going to get a bit tiring I think if I keep listening to it. The verses are cool.

Effington  this hasnt really made any impression on me at all. I had to go and listen to it again to remind myself how it sounded. Dont like it, dont hate it. Doubt I'd ever feel the urge to listen to it on it's own. Sounds like the beginning of a cheesy musical.

Kylie from Connecticut I like it. Not as good as Still, but it's nice and easy to listen to and really calming. Seems quite a classic.


I must say that although there are obviously some characters in some of these songs, I dont feel like any of them made an impression on me. Maybe I just havent really listened to it well enough or enough times yet, but I dont feel like the stories in this are as strong as in other albums, which is a large part of why I like Ben. In terms of music in general it's certainly good. I dont know how I'd rank it in Ben terms yet. I was very disappointed on my first listen, but then I was with SFS, and of course soon realised how good it was.


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Offline Ive Landed

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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2008, 10:41:42 AM »
Hiroshima 8/10
Dr. Yang 8/10
Frown Song 10/10
You Don't Know Me 10/10
Before Cologne/Cologne 10/10
Errant Dog 8/10
Free Coffee 5/10
Bitch Went Nuts 9/10
Brainwascht 8/10
Effington 9/10
Kylie From Connecticut 10/10

ydm was my 1st favorite track, when i heard the live bootleg. fell in love with cologne and kylie, and seeing the live verison of the real frown song was awesome. good album, but i think sfs will always be my favorite.

kylie takes the vote for me.
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Re: Way to Normal track rating [Spoilers]
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2008, 01:54:32 PM »
Hiroshima - 6/10 - As album openers go, I've heard better. It's certainly no Narcolepsy or One Angry Dwarf. But I grew to love it, now I've heard it a bit too much and often contemplate skipping it.

Dr. Yang - 7/10 - Not a bad song, the piano work on it is pretty cool. But lyrically I prefer the fake version (mainly due to the use of "chronic halitosis" in a song)

The Frown Song - 8/10 - This is where the album really starts to hit its stride. As others have mentioned, in the same lyrical mould as All U Can Eat. Can't have a Ben album without a bit of social commentary.

You Don't Know Me - 9/10 - Have heard this way too much but, unlike with Hiroshima, I still listen to it and love it. I think it's just a perfect quirky pop song. Liked it even before Regina but she takes it to a whole new level.

Before Cologne/Cologne - 10/10 - This may be my favourite Ben solo song of all time, I think. I adored the orchestral version on the fake leak and hated the album version at first. But gradually it made sense: stripping it all back adds just so much more emotion to the song. And when those strings swell and he says "that's it"... f*ck, it's awesome.

Errant Dog - 6/10 - I didn't really like this live. Album version is better but still not a fav.

Free Coffee - 7/10 - I quite liked the live bootlegs of this and, as others have said, the production is just a bit too annoying. I don't skip it but I don't enjoy it as much as I could have.

Bitch Went Nuts - 9/10 - I love the piano break and I love the "holy f*cking shit" bit. And I reckon the intro bit is brilliant. Is it Ben, because it seriously sounds like him at some points in it.

Brainwascht - 10/10 - The catchiest smackdown in the history of music? "There's something wrong being copied on a memo in the form of a bad country demo" - line of the album. Do we know who and what song this is about yet? I've heard Carrie Underwood but no evidence to go along with that...

Effington - 8/10 - I don't care much for the lyrics really, but I like a lot of the piano work on it.

Kylie from Connecticut - 9/10 - A stunning closer. But really, that's what I've come to expect from Ben (with the exception of Prison Food)