The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Kurutz
The follow-up to the popular Whatever and Ever Amen, Ben Folds Five's third LP, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Mesner, continues the eclectic and clever songwriting that has become the group's trademark. Like other piano-based rock composers such as Randy Newman and Todd Rundgren, principal songwriter and de facto leader Ben Folds combines an off-beat world view with equally off-kilter musical arrangements to create a thoroughly original sound. The pseudo-lounge break in "Regrets," for example, or the downright silliness of "Your Redneck Past" set the Ben Folds Five apart from the hundreds of soundalike bands that the group competes with for radio space. What makes...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Kurutz
The follow-up to the popular Whatever and Ever Amen, Ben Folds Five's third LP, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Mesner, continues the eclectic and clever songwriting that has become the group's trademark. Like other piano-based rock composers such as Randy Newman and Todd Rundgren, principal songwriter and de facto leader Ben Folds combines an off-beat world view with equally off-kilter musical arrangements to create a thoroughly original sound. The pseudo-lounge break in "Regrets," for example, or the downright silliness of "Your Redneck Past" set the Ben Folds Five apart from the hundreds of soundalike bands that the group competes with for radio space. What makes Ben Folds Five, and The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Mesner, relevant is their willingness to take musical risks, an anomaly in today's scene. On an album where there is a lack of instantly catchy hooks, Folds has the audacity to add a bizarre Burt Bacharach-ish horn section to "Don't Change Your Plans," one of the few radio-friendly tracks on the album. And in "Most Valuable Possession," the band uses studio trickery and an answering machine message left by Folds' father to create a bizarre spoken word pastiche. It is this willingness to forge a unique sound that makes The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Mesner such an interesting album to listen to. There is care to these songs and, what's even more significant and fresh, there is also intelligence.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/27/1999
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646980828
  • Catalog Number: 69808

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Narcolepsy (5:24)
  2. 2 Don't Change Your Plans (5:10)
  3. 3 Mess (4:02)
  4. 4 Magic (4:02)
  5. 5 Hospital Song (2:04)
  6. 6 Army (3:23)
  7. 7 Your Redneck Past (3:42)
  8. 8 Your Most Valuable Possession (1:56)
  9. 9 Regrets (4:09)
  10. 10 Jane (2:44)
  11. 11 Lullabye (3:53)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ben Folds Five Primary Artist, Track Performer
Ben Folds Indexed Contributor
Technical Credits
Caleb Southern Producer, Engineer
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ben Folds Five all the way!!

    This was the first BFF album I ever bought or even listened to and my only regret is that I wish I had have gotten into this band sooner before it was too late (and the most you can give is 5 stars). Although for the most part this isn't as upbeat and poppy as their other albums, which I also reccomend with 5+ stars, it seems to be the most personal and heartfelt album by them, or any other band for that matter. Fav songs:MESS!!!, DCYP, Army, and Magic (written by Darren) THIS IS A MUST GET CD!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Personal to Ben, Personal to Us

    This may not be my favorite BFF album, but it is definately the most touching. Each song is beautiful and reveals so much about Ben. Yet at the same time the themes he touches on are so universal. He deals with each song with clarity, inginuity(SP?), and fun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best CD Purchase I ever made

    This album from Ben Folds Five includes some great songs. Definitely worth the money, and you might want to buy the first album to see how the band has changed and matured. Anyway, back to the cd, Reinhold Messner shows how talented Ben Folds Five is, and how unique their songs are. Everyone who has listened to this album has fallen in love with it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It's Great To Sing To

    The CD has very diverse song topics from falling asleep (narcolepsy) to covering up your past (your redneck past) to joining the Army. I pop it in the CD player in my car and listen to it over and over again because it doesn't get old very easily. I love to sing to it. The songs can be interpreted in so many ways. Which ever universal theme you can relate to your life works. I get addicted to it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews