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Unauthorized Biography [VINYL] Import


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Product details

  • Vinyl (27 April 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B00000J0Z8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,559,948 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 April 2003
Format: Audio CD
This was the second Ben Folds album I bought after accidentally seeing him perform live (dual-headlining with the Divine Comedy); the first being "Whatever and Ever Amen". While "The Unauthorised Biography of Reinhold Messner" is a good and balanced album, I'd say it is less loveable than the other two I now own ("Rockin' The Suburbs" and "Whatever and Ever Amen"). I'd say the tracks are much more slow growers than on the other two albums, apart from the instantly loveable "Army", which is just wonderfully bouncy and sing-a-long. Another stand-out track is "Mess"; a powerful (Divine Comedyesque in the style of "Lost Property" from "Regeneration") rambling narrative with a forward-moving backing.
Other interesting tracks, I'd say, are "Narcolepsy", a bit of an oddity in waltz time and the other 3/4 track, "Lullaby". There are the usual Folds bitter and sad songs about love and relationships; not quite as notable as those on his other albums, however.
Overall, I like it quite a bit, but admit that I don't play it as often as the other two I have. I'd recommend buying this album, but only after having listened to some of the other Ben Folds stuff first. It isn't the best one to start with.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Mar. 2001
Format: Audio CD
What a shame that this turned out to be the last album from the Ben Folds Five, as they have sadly split up. This is an interesting, experimental album that probably won't hit you straight away like the first 2 albums, but it will grow on you over time. For newcomers to the Ben Folds Five it is probably best to start on the first two albums and then you will appreciate it more. The overall feel of the album is more melancholy than before. Ben Folds is older, and he's in a reflective mood, blaming himself for life's mistakes on songs like Mess and Regrets. That's not to say that he's lost his sense of humour - Army and Redneck Past will keep you chuckling. On the whole this mellow album is less upbeat than previous releases but arguably boasts Ben's most mature songwriting (and also showcases drummer Darren Jesse's potential on his song Magic) so far.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By benprestney@yahoo.com on 3 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Where the past two (proper) albums have been exhilarating rides of virtuosity and songwriting talent, Messner is a snapshot of an artist come of age. Glimpses of this album have been seen in "Boxing", "Brick", and "Missing the War" and if you're looking for another "Whatever and..." then you'll find it in "Army" and "My Redneck Past", but expect a more mature, orchestral sonic landscape. Breathtaking and original. (But you'll want to keep hold of your other BF5 albums in order to remember what it's like to be immature again). Buy it, if only to let Elton John know which kid on the block can REALLY play piano. I'd rather have Reinhold Messner than a new kidney.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By internetcatastrophe@yahoo.co.uk on 6 Feb. 2000
Format: Audio CD
I was lucky enough to land myself with a pair of tickets to see Ben Folds Five in December. I'd never heard of them before but my friend was trying to get rid of these tickets cos he couldn't make it. Not being one to pass up a free concert, I went along with an open mind and had one of the best nights of my life! This was the album most of their live tracks came from so I thought I'd splash out and I'm so glad I did! The style is so different from everything else around today and the depth to the lyrics is amazing. Don't let this one pass you by, its one of the best albums I've ever listened to and they're just as good in the flesh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrlamppost@hotmail.com on 4 Jun. 2000
Format: Audio CD
No, it's not genius. No, its not "The best album ever". Yeesh, where do these people get there ideas? If you're gonna buy a ben folds album get your mits on the debut or 'whatever THEN buy this. That way you'll find this album alot easier to understand. The album is an experiment in pop, albeit a smug one (check out the lyrics). At first i was dissapointed at the lack of feel good factor but after listening to the lyrics and making myself listen to album more and more (i was on holiday at the time and i was quite bored) i started to like it and "get it" more. One thing really worth pointing out is the recording quality in this album, it is sublime. from the defined tinkles of Bens ivory to the vintage "sizzles" of Darrens cymbals. But back to the songs, of which are varied. The lyrical hilarity of "your redneck past", the good 'ol Ben pop of "Don't change your plans" and "army" and the sinister feel of "your most valuable possession". Not an amazing album like "whatever" but i can see why they made an album like this. They just wanted to do something different. I think there next album is going to have to be alot more catchy though if they want to get more (and keep) fans . Buy it but not as your first Ben folds five album ok?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. K. Harris on 25 April 2003
Format: Audio CD
This was the second Ben Folds album I bought after accidentally seeing him perform live (dual-headlining with the Divine Comedy); the first being "Whatever and Ever Amen". While "The Unauthorised Biography of Reinhold Messner" is a good and balanced album, I'd say it is less loveable than the other two I now own ("Rockin' The Suburbs" and "Whatever and Ever Amen"). I'd say the tracks are much more slow growers than on the other two albums, apart from the instantly loveable "Army", which is just wonderfully bouncy and sing-a-long. Another stand-out track is "Mess"; a powerful (Divine Comedyesque in the style of "Lost Property" from "Regeneration") rambling narrative with a forward-moving backing.
Other interesting tracks, I'd say, are "Narcolepsy", a bit of an oddity in waltz time and the other 3/4 track, "Lullaby". There are the usual Folds bitter and sad songs about love and relationships; not quite as notable as those on his other albums, however.
Overall, I like it quite a bit, but admit that I don't play it as often as the other two I have. I'd recommend buying this album, but only after having listened to some of the other Ben Folds stuff first. It isn't the best one to start with.
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