JC here. The blog’s lain fallow for a while so I’m starting a new series to be published at least weekly if not semi-weekly.
The series is called Desert Island Albums and the concept is just that I’m going to be talking about albums that I love (and would wish to have with me were I stranded on a deserted island).
So, here’s volume 1, I hope yez all dig it.
Ben Folds Five [self titled] (1995)
This thing comes roaring out of the gate with Jackson Cannery; pounding piano, thumping kick drum, and Folds’ voice, plaintive but strong, imploring us to “Stop the bus”. As the album progresses I am genuinely surprised at how big this three-piece outfit manages to sound. It’s partially due to recording/mixing, and mostly due to Folds’ fast-fingered piano work filling in every gap like musical caulk. It sounds like he’s showing off but at the same time it never feels like he’s overplaying. I was introduced to this album my freshman year in college by my roommate JC. The only thing I knew by BFF was the song Brick which was at the height of it’s popularity and constantly playing on the radio. We both hated it, but he insisted that they were actually a decent band and made me to check out their debut album. I fell in love, and here I am writing about it 15 years later. The album closes with one of my favorite resignation waltzes: Boxing, a ballad about a boxer who knows when to fold ‘em explaining to his trainer why he’s giving up. A beautiful and aching wrap-up to a raucous, thrashy, bouncy, fun album -the necessary cool-down after an intense workout.
Jackson Cannery – “Stop the bus, I wanna be lonely”
Philosophy – “And it’s really not that you can’t see the forest from the trees -you just never been out in the woods alone”
Best Imitation of Myself – “Last night I was east with them, and west within -trying to be for you what you wanna see”
The Last Polka – “My my, the cruelest lies are often told without a word. My my, the kindest truths are often spoken, never heard”
Boxing – “Well sometimes I punch myself as hard as I can yelling nobody cares, hoping someone will tell me how wrong I am”