Songs for Silvermanby Ben Folds
There was never any doubt as to which member of the Ben Folds Five was in the driver's seat -- except, of course, to folks who didn't bother mulling over the band's name. Still, it's been surprising to see how little Folds's music has lost in translation from band format to his solo career, which hits Chapter Two quite effectively on Songs for Silverman. The singer-pianist tones down the shtick considerably here, wearing his heart quite openly on his sleeve for songs like the chirping "Gracie," an unabashedly sweet ode to his young daughter, and the considerably grayer "Late," on which he addresses an old friend, the late Elliott Smith. Folds spends a good bit of Silverman seated, alone, at his piano -- a situation he handles cleverly, waxing loungey when needed but never crossing over into Billy Joel territory. A passel of tracks -- notably the punchy "Bastard," which shifts time signatures with dizzying frequency-- have enough percussive pulse to satisfy BFF diehards, but for the most part, Songs for Silverman paints a far more intimate picture: a portrait of the artist as a man ready to admit he's not as young and invincible as he once imagined.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsBen Folds Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Bucky Baxter Pedal Steel Guitar,12-string Guitar
Paul Buckmaster Conductor
John Mark Painter French Horn,Upright Bass
"Weird Al" Yankovic Background Vocals
David Henry Cello
Lindsay Jamieson Drums,Vocals
Ned Henry Violin
Jared Reynolds Bass,Vocals
Frally Folds Background Vocals
Technical CreditsPaul Buckmaster Orchestral Arrangements
John Mark Painter Producer
Ben Folds Composer,Producer
Joe Costa Engineer
Kryssy Bloch Creative Services Coordinator
Joseph Roeder Creative Services Coordinator
Piero Giramonti Producer
Mike Nack Authoring
Marc Stecker Authoring
Richard J. Alcock Producer
Calvin Aurand Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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When I read some early reports about this album that said this was a more mature Ben Folds, I wasn't sure I would be able to handle it. I knew I loved more somber songs like "Boxing", "Evaporated" and "Fred Jones Pt II" but I thought I would long for the smartass songs that are prevalant in all his other works. Well, after listening to Songs for Silverman, I realized he is definitely ready to elavate his work and grow along with his audience. Many of the songs reverberate quite well with things that are going on in my life and I can relate to them in a certain way. It isn't a depressing album at all despite the mellow tone of many of the songs. If anything, it has a smart and sweet tone to it that seems to be singular to Folds compared to any other piano artist. Needless to say, this will be in my player for quite a bit like all his other CDs but for different reasons. Highly recommended.
I eagerly purchased Ben Folds' new "Songs for Silverman" expecting everything he's contributed to his records in the past - pop and pizzazz. But I was sorely disappointed to find that this album lacked the energy that Folds normally puts into each of his songs. Each song sounded a lot like the last one, and his trademark piano was...well, boring! Still, one must remember that anything Ben Folds does is still better than the stuff you hear on the radio. A few songs that I did enjoy were "Landed", "Gracie", and "Jesusland".
There is only one word I can find that truly describes Ben Folds: genius. Ben Folds has once again dazzled his audience with a number of wide ranging songs in all different styles. Folds is quite a rare musician in that not only can he write amazing piano music, from backround chords, beats, and seemingly impossible solos, but he also is extremely gifted at writing lyrics. His lyrics talk about everything from marriage to his b@stard of a father to his relationship with his youngest daughter, and while many passages may seem random or obscure, there is almost always something there that the listener can relate to. While his writing is impressive, his piano playing and singing are just as amazing. From the incredible piano solos in 'You to Thank' and 'B@stard' to the outstanding vocals in 'Landed' and 'Trusted', Folds has created not just a masterpiece, but a work of art, revealing a more personal side of himself that before now, he has only barely exposed. I would recommend this CD to anyone, whether or not you are a Ben Folds fan, and regardless of what type of music you like. I guarantee that if you give this CD a try, you will not only love it, but you will fall in love with Ben Folds as well, just as countless other fans have.