Your Reviews of So There

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Your Reviews of So There
« on: September 21, 2015, 04:04:05 AM »
Unless I missed it, there haven't been any threads actually discussing folks' reviews of the album.  What do you think?

Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 04:14:18 AM »
Overall, I like the album, but wish the run order was different, and that the concerto was spread out a bit more.

Capable of Anything - like it, could do without the warm up at the beginning, but suspect it's there to give the album a band feel.

Not a Fan - feels out of place immediately after Capable of Anything.  I also find the vocals to be misplaced, as if they were recorded for a different track, especially during the bridge (where his vocal doesn't seem tied to the piano track at first).

So There - my favorite song on the album, mainly because of the bridge.

Long Way To Go - the tempo feels a little slow, but the instrumental quickly makes up for it.

Phone in a Pool - I don't mind the song, but I find this recording's tempo to be very slow.

Yes Man - Hasn't clicked for me yet.

F10 D A - Like Capable of Anything, the band warm up at the beginning doesn't suit me too well in subsequent listens, but I find the balance of the song catchy.

Not the Man - Hasn't clicked for me yet.

Concerto 1 - I'm not a regular consumer of classical music, so this is a bit lost on me.  The overture doesn't do much for me, but I've enjoyed the latter parts.  I wish the sections were tracked (ie so one can skip the overture), and that there was a little more repetition/breathing room for some of the parts to build.

Concerto 2 - my favorite part of the concerto, but I also wish it was a little longer.  I've taken to playing this part twice in a row.  Very nice piece.

Concerto 3 - as with the first piece, the more uptempo parts aren't really to my liking.  I also find that, while it builds at first, it ends with sort of a whimper.

Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 05:53:09 AM »
Capable of Anything - I do like it, very epic at moments. One of the more upbeat songs here, clever lyrics
Not a Fan - Fairly good, lyrics are very good! The melody itself isn't the catchiest though
So There - Top notch. Definitive of this album
Long Way to Go - It's an ok song, but I never find myself waiting for it to come on. The lyrics are vague for Ben standards.
Phone in a Pool - I think this could have been one of his best radio friendly songs in years, but its just so got damn sluggish. If the tempo had been picked up and there was a little more ear candy in the instrumentation I think we'd have a classic
Yes Man - A song all about the vocal swells. Not sure if the melody itself really hits me hard enough though
F10-DA - It's funny, but I can't lie, I skip it every time. Shoulda been a b-side
I'm Not The Man - Love love love.
Concerto  - I've listened to it about 20 times already, and I love that I'm still picking out things that I missed. The highlight of the album for me.


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Offline Playhouse

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Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 12:24:06 AM »
Capable of Anything - Having spent months with the album cut of the song, it feels a bit old hat when listening to the whole album. That doesn't draw from how fun of a song it is. I was quite enamored with it when I first heard it and felt it was a smart lead to sample the collaboration with yMusic.  In fact, I was a bit baffled when Ben talked about "Phone in a Pool" being the single. The song's a bit cacophonous on first listen but that's the magic of the group.

Not a Fan - I always enjoy when Ben goes with a decidedly different style of music from most modern pop. This is a wonderful waltz and I was quite stunned at how beautiful the album cut of it is; even more powerful than what I'd heard of it played live. And I've always loved when the lyric is completely incongruous with the music in Ben's work. This is a terrific example.  It does feel a bit oddly placed on the album, though there isn't really a strong ebb and flow to the album.

So There - Terrific title song. The harmonies with Gracie are superb. The use of the strings throughout is marvelous. And it's one of the best showcases of Ben's piano playing in his catalog. And it just might feature his best telling off of someone in any of his songs.

Long Way to Go - I'm particularly partial to this song because I absolutely loved the refrain when it popped up on the Way to Normal fake leak. The chorus does feel a bit tacked on to the rest of the lyrics, but this feels like a drinking song in a darkened corner booth of a bar and it's a wonderful character. The boozy horns are delicious and I dig the rather '70s feel of the whole thing. The carnival atmosphere of the falling voices during the bridge is a nice flair.

Phone in a Pool - I like the song and it's imminently listenable. There are terrific lyrics throughout, though while I enjoy the chorus, it's one of those that I like in one listen and can't stand in the next. To be honest, though, I'm not as big on the song as most everyone else.

Yes Man - I was surprised to take to this song. Upon my first few listens, it wasn't really connecting, but I suddenly found it one that just kept sticking in my craw. The plaintive open followed by the double-tracked opening vocals makes for one of the more distinctive songs on the album. And the swells of the chorus are some of the best vocal elements Ben's ever recorded. It's a beautiful, moody piece that feels as full of regret as the lyrics suggest. This is one of the real highlights of the album for me.

F10-D-A - Just a fun, dorky cavalcade. I love the claps and the overall structure.

I'm Not the Man - This is a gorgeous song with a poignant lyric that really hit home. I know the concerto follows but there feels like a clear separation between the chamber music and the orchestral, so this is a pseudo album closer. It follows a grand tradition of strong, moving last tracks on Ben's albums ("Prison Food" the odd song out in that group).

Concerto - I'm just not ready to really break down the concerto. There's a lot to it and I don't feel that I've really got a grasp of it all yet.  I do love that you can feel Ben's musical training/background in it, but as for "classical" music, it definitely feels filtered through Gershwin and Joplin and Berlin and that 20th Century lens of classical music. And true to Ben, it doesn't follow traditional classical music format, which I'm sure will probably cause the purists to wince. The one thing that really does stand out to me about it, much like "Thank You for Breaking My Heart" really made the case for Ben to write a stage musical, is that his desire to score a film could be very well realized.
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Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 08:01:31 AM »
super off topic (sort of) but is anyone else disappointed that the album debuted at #44? Do people seriously pay that much more attention to his music when the word "five" is tacked onto the end of his name?!

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Offline Sutter

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Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 01:18:20 PM »
super off topic (sort of) but is anyone else disappointed that the album debuted at #44? Do people seriously pay that much more attention to his music when the word "five" is tacked onto the end of his name?!
The amount of people I've seen write this album off with the complaint of "I wish he'd do another album with the Five" is too high

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Offline Playhouse

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Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 02:31:11 PM »
super off topic (sort of) but is anyone else disappointed that the album debuted at #44? Do people seriously pay that much more attention to his music when the word "five" is tacked onto the end of his name?!
I think that pushing it so hard from the classical music angle probably turned people off from it.  It did hit #1 on the Classical Music chart.
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Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2015, 08:35:07 PM »
super off topic (sort of) but is anyone else disappointed that the album debuted at #44? Do people seriously pay that much more attention to his music when the word "five" is tacked onto the end of his name?!
The amount of people I've seen write this album off with the complaint of "I wish he'd do another album with the Five" is too high

That's so crazy to me. Honestly, he hasn't been repeating himself and that is a GOOD thing. He cares more about making unique, quality music than selling albums. We most likely will get a standard solo album next and that'll satisfy the masses, but people are really missing out if they dismiss stuff like this or Lonely Avenue

Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2015, 03:54:08 AM »
We most likely will get a standard solo album next and that'll satisfy the masses

Doesn't seem like that will happen.  Sounds like his next project is either the symphonic university thing or another collaboration with yMusic.  There were also rumors of an album with his touring band, but there hasn't been any mention of this lately.

I'd still like to hear the jazz jam thing Ben Folds Five allegedly recorded.

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Offline Kyle

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Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 05:31:15 AM »
Didn't Ben already record a new solo album w/ his band?  It's just being kept underwraps since So There was just released.  I thought Phone In A Pool was rerecorded from that album to this album.

Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 05:52:50 AM »
AFAIK that is indeed the case.

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Offline Playhouse

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Re: Your Reviews of So There
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2015, 12:49:45 PM »
Didn't Ben already record a new solo album w/ his band?  It's just being kept underwraps since So There was just released.  I thought Phone In A Pool was rerecorded from that album to this album.

Depends on if you believe the rumors or not. He supposedly recorded a solo album in Ireland back in February based on various RTB improvs that's supposedly scheduled for 2016 at some point.  But Ben usually isn't the cagey type when it comes to any album work, and I have yet to see him mention anything about this album.  Press is definitely about So There right now, but we haven't seen or heard anything about another album other than the mentions of recording around the time of his Ireland trip with the U.S. ambassador.
A one-hit wonder with no hits...

Hey, that's Oh-Ned-Er!