Ben Folds Five
Whatever and Ever Amen
Guitar obsessed alterna-dweebs may have sneered when they first heard about a great young band built around a piano player, but anyone who listened to Ben Folds Five's eponymous 1995 debut heard one wondrous blast of power pop. The follow-up for the trio — that's right, the name's a ruse — should cement the band's status as one of the most engaging new acts to emerge in ages. Throughout this set, pianist/songwriter Folds displays a brilliant knack for crafting highly melodic, surging pop with plenty of lyrical twists. Standouts include the 10cc-styled “Fair” and the purely enthralling finale “Evaporated.”
— Kevin O'Hare
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