Way to Normal [Bonus DVD] [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Ben Folds' seventh studio recording begins appropriately with an Elton John spoof. After a string of introspective albums, the old-school as in Ben Folds Five era "Hiroshima B B B Benny Hit His Head," with its bombastic strings, "Benny and the Jets"-inspired piano motif and not-so-subtle refrain of "They're watching me, watching me fall" marks a return to the snarky, sarcastic days of old when Folds' signature blend of nerdy bravado and apathetic melodiousness wrested dominance of the proverbial cheap, college dorm stereo from They Might Be Giants. Like all of Folds' records, Way to Normal is full of melodic hooks and witty, semi-obvious barbs. Folds rarely ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Ben Folds' seventh studio recording begins appropriately with an Elton John spoof. After a string of introspective albums, the old-school as in Ben Folds Five era "Hiroshima B B B Benny Hit His Head," with its bombastic strings, "Benny and the Jets"-inspired piano motif and not-so-subtle refrain of "They're watching me, watching me fall" marks a return to the snarky, sarcastic days of old when Folds' signature blend of nerdy bravado and apathetic melodiousness wrested dominance of the proverbial cheap, college dorm stereo from They Might Be Giants. Like all of Folds' records, Way to Normal is full of melodic hooks and witty, semi-obvious barbs. Folds rarely works in metaphor, so when he sings, "The bitch went nuts/she stabbed my basketball and the speakers to my stereo," that's really all that happened. Surprisingly, it's the quieter moments on Way to Normal like "Cologne," "Kylie from Connecticut," and to a lesser extent "You Don't Know Me" the latter, a duet with Regina Spektor that elicit the biggest thrills, but they're few and far between. Folds has always found a way to balance all of the privileged, rich-kid prickishness with moments of surprising profundity, but this time around the profanity and outrage feel more forced than usual -- the aforementioned "Bitch Went Nuts" feels somehow more sophomoric coming from the mouth of a 42-year-old producer, composer, and father. Way to Normal may win a few fans back who balked at the newfound sincerity that peppered his last two or three records, but a little more nuance and a lot less displaced teen angst would have made it palatable for everybody. [Folds reissued Way to Normal in 2009 as a two-disc set called Stems and Seeds. Disc one featured the remixed, remastered, re-sequenced album in its' entirety, though without the excessive, radio-ready compression that accompanies most major label releases, while disc two featured files from the sessions that listeners could upload to "Garageband" and remix themselves.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/30/2008
  • Label: Epic
  • UPC: 886973573327
  • Catalog Number: 735733

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head) (3:37)
  2. 2 Dr. Yang (2:30)
  3. 3 The Frown Song (3:37)
  4. 4 You Don't Know Me (3:11)
  5. 5 Before Cologne (0:53)
  6. 6 Cologne (5:02)
  7. 7 Errant Dog (2:24)
  8. 8 Free Coffee (4:01)
  9. 9 Bitch Went Nuts (3:06)
  10. 10 Brainwascht (3:48)
  11. 11 Effington (3:32)
  12. 12 Kylie from Connecticut (4:43)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Cologne
  2. 2 Effington
  3. 3 Errant Dog
  4. 4 The Frown Song
  5. 5 Kylie from Connecticut
  6. 6 Hiroshima
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ben Folds Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals, Moog Synthesizer, Mellotron, Wurlitzer
David Angell Violin
John Catchings Cello
David Davidson Violin
Jim Grosjean Viola
Dennis Herring Drums
Joshua Motohashi Narrator
Sam Smith Drums, Vocals, Background Vocals
Lindsay Jamieson Drums
Jared Reynolds Electric Bass, Vocals, Background Vocals
Regina Spektor Vocals, Guest Appearance
Technical Credits
Dennis Herring Producer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Csaba Petocz Engineer
Howie Weinberg Mastering
Ben Folds Composer, String Arrangements
William Paden Hensley Digital Editing
Joe Costa Engineer, Audio Production
Chris Athens Mastering
Anthony Ruotolo Engineer
Leon Overtoom Producer, Engineer, Mastering
Ken Levitan Management
Andrew Deerin Producer
Chad Chapin Stage Manager
Corn Mo Video Producer, Video Director
Jack Rovner Management
Calvin Aurand Executive Producer
Emily Deaderick Management
Andros Rodriguez Engineer
Jen Maselli grooming
Victor Wlodinguer Accounting
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