Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind

  • November 19, 2012

It’s been 13 years since Ben Folds Five’s last album, 1999’s Biography of Reinhold Messner, but 2012 found the trio reuniting on their fourth album together, The Sound of The Life of The Mind. The latest picks right up where the last album left off with a collection of solemn songs filled with self-aware songwriting, clever wordplay and poignant characters aware of their own sense of mortality. Musically, The Sound of the Life of the Mind is instantly recognizable with the signature interplay between the distorted bass of Robert Sledge, Folds’ always melodic piano, and Darren Jessee’s percussive rhythms. Memorable tracks include the lovely “Away When You Were Here” which wrestles with the memories of a father who has passed away; the lounge-like “On Being Frank” told from the perspective of Sinatra’s tour manager who faces an identity crisis once Old Blue Eyes dies; the agonizingly fragile “Thank You For Breaking My Heart”; and the tongue-in-cheek “Draw A Crowd” – a tale of a washed-up musician who struggles to come to terms with his obscurity. The Sound of the Life of the Mind is a more mature sounding Ben Folds Five full of hard truths, keen observations and unapologetically sentimental. – Written by JFelton

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