Rockin' the Suburbs

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Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Following the mutual dissolution of Ben Folds Five, the band's namesake returns with his first true solo debut not counting the experimental Fear of Pop one-off project. Playing with a fluidity that brings to mind such ivory-tinkling '70s stalwarts as Billy Joel, Joe Jackson, and Elton John, Folds takes a sardonic yet heartfelt approach that leans closer to Randy Newman's. Intriguing protagonists abound, the most interesting being a demanding, suicidal ex-girlfriend the surprisingly spry "Losing Lisa", an acid-baked partygoer turned born-again fundamentalist on the ELO-flavored, fuzz-bass heavy "Not the Same", and a techno-music clairvoyant and her dullard ...
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09/11/2001 CD New, Sealed. ~ FREE 1st class shipping upgrade from standard shipping with tracking. We place your cd in a cushy, padded mailer and ship the same business day. ... Military and International welcome! Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Following the mutual dissolution of Ben Folds Five, the band's namesake returns with his first true solo debut not counting the experimental Fear of Pop one-off project. Playing with a fluidity that brings to mind such ivory-tinkling '70s stalwarts as Billy Joel, Joe Jackson, and Elton John, Folds takes a sardonic yet heartfelt approach that leans closer to Randy Newman's. Intriguing protagonists abound, the most interesting being a demanding, suicidal ex-girlfriend the surprisingly spry "Losing Lisa", an acid-baked partygoer turned born-again fundamentalist on the ELO-flavored, fuzz-bass heavy "Not the Same", and a techno-music clairvoyant and her dullard metalhead boyfriend the harmony-soaked "Zak and Sara". Elsewhere, Cake's John McCrea joins in on harmonies for the melancholy tale of a downsized middle-aged man "Fred Jones Part 2", and Folds sticks it to aggro-rock, chart-dominating boobs everywhere with the infectious title track. Name-checking Michael Jackson, Quiet Riot, and Bon Jovi, Folds strikes the same balance of irony and undeniable hooks he conjured up on BFF classics such as "Battle of Who Could Care Less" and "Song for the Dumped." Without missing a beat, Ben Folds has whipped up yet another batch of perfectly executed, piano-driven power-pop character studies.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Superficially, there's not much separating Ben Folds' first official solo album, Rockin' the Suburbs, from his records with Ben Folds Five. It's hard to note any difference, really, since he still works from the same vantage point, borrowing equally from new wave, '90s irony, and a love of classic pop. Still, there is a difference, even if it's hard to pinpoint -- perhaps it's an increased focus, perhaps it was a hot streak from Folds, or perhaps the Five really were more of a group than they seemed and he's benefited by working according to his own patterns. Regardless, Rockin' the Suburbs is as good a record as any he's made, possibly his best. It's still possible to hear his influences -- Joe Jackson still stands out, as do elements of Billy Joel and Todd Rundgren -- but there's no shame there, and he's accepted it as part of his musical personality so much that it sounds like him, even when it sounds familiar. Better still, he's tempered his tendency to be a collegiate wiseass -- it pokes through on the title track, but that's the rare time that it's brought to the forefront -- which helps his songs shine brighter. And while there are no surprises here to anybody familiar with his work, it's a remarkably consistent record, filled with great mid-tempo pop tunes and nicely sentimental ballads. It's simply a good, solid record that captures Ben Folds at his most engaging, and that's more than enough.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/11/2001
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646161029
  • Catalog Number: 61610

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Annie Waits (4:17)
  2. 2 Zak and Sara (3:11)
  3. 3 Still Fighting It (4:25)
  4. 4 Gone (3:22)
  5. 5 Fred Jones, Pt. 2 (3:45)
  6. 6 The Ascent of Stan (4:14)
  7. 7 Losing Lisa (4:10)
  8. 8 Carrying Cathy (3:49)
  9. 9 Not the Same (4:17)
  10. 10 Rockin' the Suburbs (4:58)
  11. 11 Fired (3:49)
  12. 12 The Luckiest (4:25)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ben Folds Primary Artist, Piano
Larry Corbett Cello
John Mark Painter Conductor
John McCrea Vocals
Richard Fortus Guitar
Technical Credits
Ben Grosse Producer, Engineer
Ted Jensen Mastering
John Mark Painter Arranger
John Vitale Programming
Ben Folds Producer
Cameron Webb Engineer
DJ Swamp beats
Blumpy Engineer
Andrew R. Wallace Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A must-have for any Ben Folds or Pop/Rock fan.

    This was a very amazing CD with catchy tunes that will stick with you for the rest of your life. It can be super loud rock (Rockin' the Suburbs) to quiet and melodious (The Luckiest). If you buy this, there will be no regrets, whatsoever. My personal favorites off of this CD are "Zak and Sara", "Rockin' the Suburbs", "Still Fighting It", "Fred Jones Part 2", and "Rockin' the Suburbs".
    WARNING!!! ALTHOUGH THIS CD DOES NOT SAY PARENTAL ADVISORY, IT SHOULD. SWEAR WORDS ARE USED SOMETIMES TO AD HUMOR TO THE SONG. THE SONG WITH THE MOST LANGUAGE IS ROCKIN THE SUBURBS. IT SAYS THE F WORD, B WORD, AND S WORD. AT ONE POINT HE RANDOMLY SCREAMS THE F WORD TO A SATRICAL EFFECT.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Love at first sight

    I fell in love with Ben Folds the moment I heard "The Luckiest". It was all over after that, I was hooked.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Won over even a skeptical listener...

    Being a pianist myself, I have always bemoaned about the lack of pianos in modern rock. My friends have always snobbily answered my complaints, "Oh well, pianos don't really go with rock." Yes, it is true, modern rock has made it so that pianos are no longer an accepted instrument. But this is a genre that evolved from greats like Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Joel, and Elton John. Groups like the Who and the Beatles also utilized keyboards in their music, giving their music more depth and creativity. Of course, depth and creativity don't go along with modern rock either. But Ben Folds Five has always been some of the few who were both piano-oriented rock bands and, in fact, creative and, oftentimes, had depth. But as a huge fan of Ben Folds Five, I was skeptical about Ben Folds's solo career and, as a result, this album, "Rockin' the Suburbs." How could Ben Folds manage without Darren Jesse and Robert Sledge? It seemed impossible to me. Then I bought it, put it in the CD player, and listened. All I have to say is that, this is one of the best albums Ben Folds ever took a part of. Most of the songs are accessible and catchy. And a good many are insightful and lyrically beautiful. And, finally, all of them are uniquely Ben Folds. Some highlights: "Annie Waits"- a catchy, poppy melody that has what I call a "twist" at the end. "Still Fighting It"- a beautiful song from a father to his son about the pain of growing up. "Fred Jones Part 2"- We met him first in "Cigarette" from "Whatever and Ever Amen," here he is again. His life has gotten even worse, but his song has gotten even more beautiful. "Rockin' The Suburbs"- Some people hate this song... I love it. Apparently it was overplayed on the radio (I don't listen to the radio, so I don't know..) but I think it's a great parody of modern rock music. Do I catch bits of rap-rock bands like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park in it? I believe I do. "The Luckiest"- a beautiful, honest love song. So I must've said enough. Go get this CD. Whether you're a skeptical old Ben Folds Five fan or a curious new listener... This album is extremely enjoyable and a sign that rock is not dead- yet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Great Cd.

    This is one of my favorite cd's. I must admit I hadn't heard of Ben Folds until recently, but now I really love this guys music. I prefer his single works to Ben Folds Five, although the group works are still very good, of course. These songs make me feel like he knows me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A great album

    This is the first ben folds cd I bought. I had heard brick before and liked it and a little while ago I heard still fightin on the radio and I went out and bought rockin the suburbs. I have to say it is a wonderful album and I listen to it all the time. fav. songs not the same, the luckiest, gone

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best imitation of himself

    Fantastic. The guys a pure genius. I first listened to Ben Folds Five when 'Underground' was released in the UK, and since then Ben Folds just seems to produce tunes that get better and better. Track of the album has got to be 'The Luckiest'.Also check out'Ben Folds Live'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of my fave albums of 2001

    this is classic Ben Folds stuff...some people found it boring and redundant, i found it charming and reminiscent....and was surprised to hear a *GASP* guitar on Rockin the Suburbs! it's great! Ben Folds really shows how talented he is with his exquisite piano playing and the other instruments played as well...there should be more pop music as brilliant and clever as this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ben Folds rocks, y'know?

    Great album, great title song, great everything. I'm a Ben Folds fan. Can't say I've been one for a long time, sorry, but his music flat rocks! I like the simplicity of Fred Jones, my favorite track. Piano with a slight cello accompaniment. Simple and elegant. Another thing is his amazing pianistic abilities. Great stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Don't put off buying this album! Brandon--Boise,ID

    I wasn't too thrilled about Folds going solo when I first heard about it. I love the quintet's style so much. I worried Folds' new album would be bland. It only took one listen, and I was shocked at how well Ben can hold his own. The music is very similar to the stylings of ''Whatever and Ever Amen''. This album has everything you might expect of Folds: well-honed biographical songs, a few songs for the aching-hearted, and an inescapable beat that seems to take control of your hands and feet. Likely candidates for his next hit(s): 1. Gone 2. Zak and Sara

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good ol's--Ben Folds

    Ben brought alot of emotion with Ben Folds Five's wonderful tunes. He's managed to do it again but by himself this time. I have to agree with everyone and say he is one of the most underrated singer/songwriters out there. If you haven't experianced Ben Folds pick up the latest or pick up ANY Ben Folds Five albums.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    hmm...

    I found that Ben Folds new project is not up to par with his first solo attempt. I was hoping to hear more good studio editing and fine neat tricks. Turns out that this album is just another great Ben Folds Five album. I was quite pleased with most the songs, checks on Fred Jones Part 2 (the sequel to Ciggarrette)and Annie Waits. This album has enough poppy rythems to keep you dancing but at the same time lends itself to Fold's unique lyrical stylings. I believe that this album could have been more ben folds less of the five A true fan of Fear of Pop nomar

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Truly one of the most underrated artists in music

    How is it possible this man is so underrated? I'm a long-time fan of Ben Folds Five and I even loved his goofy side project, ''Fear of Pop''. If you haven't discovered Ben's uniquely stirring music, you have to pick up his new album!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Haunting and Personal

    Ben Folds is probably the best, most underrated song writer of our time. He is able to stir up so many emotions with his songs. Don't be fooled by the title track, it is a great song, but doesn't really reflect the mood of the entire album. Try to hold back the tears on Still Fighting It.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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