Songs for Silverman is a great album. FULL STOP. His best yet? I'm not sure - I'll have to see whether I return to it in ten years time. From the first track this album delivers some of Ben Fold's most complex and stirring melodies of his career. Everyone keeps saying its more "grown-up", which to me sounds like damning with faint praise; one of the things I have loved most about his previous albums is his supreme musical capability, mixed with an infantile sense of mischief. It doesn't have those lyrically subversive songs such as One Angry Dwarf, or Rockin' the Suburbs, but instead Fold's playfulness is channelled into the spontaneous weaving of melody, harmony and rhythm which makes each song totally distinctive. Like in The Ascent of Stan, ******* is a letter to growing old and those who value maturity above living in the moment. As with so many of Ben Fold's songs, surface vitriol covers a pre-eminent wiseness, and ******* addresses all those who grow old too fast and embrace empty nostalgia all too readily. Whilst not my favourite song on the album (and there are many to choose from - Jesusland coming out on top), I think it embodies the tension of Fold's developing style, and his resolution to remain free spirited. Trusted is a far more measured reaction to an event where he may previously have shouted "*****" and asked for his T-shirt back, but hey, if he stayed the same, we wouldn't have so many diverse albums to enjoy over again. Tune after tune, this album cries out to be turned up loud, Landed is fantastic, and Late softens the sinews in a way that hasn't be equalled since Brick. His ability to tell stories and create characters is still inspiring, and his live performances are electric (see him wherever, whenever you can). Why he isn't more popular, I will never know, but as long as there are a few people appreciating his brilliance, Ben Folds will continue to make music with which you can grown old, and remain forever young. Buy it!