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Way To Normal CD


Price: £12.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Way To Normal + Songs For Silverman + The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
Price For All Three: £25.20

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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Sept. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Epic Records
  • ASIN: B001E1DJ9S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,096 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)
2. Dr. Yang
3. The Frown Song
4. You Don't Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)
5. Before Cologne
6. Cologne
7. Errant Dog
8. Free Coffee
9. Bitch Went Nuts
10. Brainwascht
11. Effington
12. Kylie From Connecticut

Product Description

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

BBC Review

Musical Marmite ahoy. Ben Folds is either a pop genius whose ironic, witty, peaens to modern hypocrisy and self-deprecation mixed with the odd lovelorn ballad are the most underrated thing on the planet. Or he's a uber-nerd who 's determined to show that his resentment at all those piano lessons as a child could be channelled into slightly snide, cleverly-constructed songs full of revenge. All this is a way of saying that Way To Normal will dispel neither view; whichever you subscribe to.

Folds has had a busy year, even reforming the Five for a gig and working on Amanda Palmer's album, and Way To Normal is obviously the result of a lot of hard work. Yet for all the Beatle-eque harmonising and West Coast richness there's an uncomfortable edge. While the signature 88s are firing on all cylinders the relentless plink-plonk can get tiring. Especially by the cod clasicism of Effington, wherein our boy pokes 'fun' at small town life. One senses that perhaps a fuller band sound would make the tales of human failure more palatable.

Still, for fans of the Folds geek-with-a-snappy-comeback formula will be well-pleased by Way To Normal. It shows him to be in a creative maelstrom, albeit one that may need to move its focus elsewhere than the obvious failings of the society he chooses to live in. Like XTC, Folds has a fully-functioning grasp of classic late 60s pop dynamics as well as pop history in general (yes, we get the reference to Elton John in the autobiographical opening track, Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)).

When he does the ballad thing he's on perfectly safe ground. Both Cologne and Kylie Calling From Conneticut are beautiful and genuinely affecting. But they highlight the album's key weakness. While most of this material is undeniably smart it's not overly lovable. Perhaps now that Ben's worked out his obvious frustrations at modern life he can start making more constructive statements. The appallingly-titled The Bitch Went Nuts informs us that "she called me C***". Well maybe you deserved it Ben, if this is your emotional response to rejection. Or maybe it's all meant to be ironic? Whatever; it's not that funny.

This is undeniably intelligent adult pop with a surprisingly angry heart. --Dennis O'Dell

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andy Sweeney TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Nov. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Before I start this review, I just want to say that I have been a huge fan of Ben's music since the release of the debut Ben Folds Five album back in 1995 and consider 2001's 'Rockin' The Suburbs' album to be one of my all time favourites, so I write from the perspective of a long-time admirer of the man and his work. However, with the exception of the 'Fear Of Pop' project, I think that - sadly - in 'Way To Normal' Ben has probably made his worst studio album to date.

The album starts off brightly. 'Hiroshima', a musical pastiche of Elton John's 'Bennie & The Jets', is a nice piece of inoffensive pop and 'Dr. Yang' is full of energy and pounding piano keys, although, production-wise, it could have been slightly less crashy and noisy. 'The Frown Song' is a decent enough track as well, but none of the opening three could be described as classics. The bouncy, melodic 'You Don't Know Me' (featuring Regina Spektor) is easily one of the album's highlights and one of the most obviously divorce-influenced tracks. 'Before Cologne' and 'Cologne' are very pretty pieces of music, although some of the lyrics in the latter really don't work - the news story part grates badly.

'Errant Dog' is an enjoyable track and reminds me very much of early Ben Folds Five - there's nothing particularly deep about it, but it still manages to be one of my favourite cuts here. 'Free Coffee' would be a good track if it wasn't for the really horrible metallic sound of the piano (achieved by putting empty Altoid tins on the piano strings), but still makes a good lyrical point. I think the next track will be either something you love or hate and does nothing to assist relations between men and women.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Forester on 16 Jun. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I read all the reviews for this album and they are really polarised so wasn't sure what I'd make of it. I own most of his earlier work and have seen him live and consider myself a fan of pretty much all of it. "Way to Normal" is good and its growing on me but its not amazing and feels a bit like an album of B sides and unreleased material. However that said there are some great tracks on here, Cologne is superb and there is a little bit of anarchy on "Dr Yang" and "Bitch went Nuts" that is unlike the more sober tone of "Silverman". If you're a fan buy it and you will, as ever with Folds, find much to love, if you want to start your Folds collection I think "..Suburbs" or "..Messner" are more consistently better. Would love to give it three and half stars!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RJW on 2 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Ben Folds is virtually a nobody in the UK, yet he is supremely talented and writes lyrics that few others would even attempt. Yes, there is a lot of swearing on this album, and some of it seems gratuitous, but the tunes and the musicianship are excellent. Hiroshima, You Dont Know Me, Cologne, Kylie and Effington are as good as anything he has ever done IMO.
As a whole the album is not as good as Songs For Silverman, but for less than a Tenner this is great fun - but don't play it when the children are around !
BTW, he produced 5 great songs for the Over The Hedge childrens' film soundtrack - that's worth getting too.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ian Thomson on 3 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have listened to all of Ben Folds previous work, and was extremely anxious to get a copy of his latest album. However, whereas "Songs for Silverman" sounds like he took his time in producing an excellent album with almost all of the tracks good to excellent, "Way to Normal" sounds like Ben hasn't really tried too hard and as a result there are mediocre tracks mixed in with some good efforts. I probably haven't listened enough yet, but I would estimate that there are really only about 4 tracks that are up to his normal high standard. Overall a bit disappointing given the time between the last album and this, I really expected more of a man with such talent.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
I'm a massive Folds' fan but walking in store to buy the cd I was praying that Ben was going to furnish us with something substantially different to Songs for Silverman, which contained some undeniably quality tracks (Jesusland, Landed etc) but just lacked that certain something. That certain something that always jumped out at you back in the golden years. As a complete album, in my view, this is better than Songs for Silverman. A lot better. It finally seems that he's beginning to echo the greatness of The Five and tapped back into that certain something. And it's only taken a decade. The brilliant Folds' wit is here too and seems to have stepped up a gear - no more apparent than in 'free coffee' which seems to hit home on something so simple, it's powerful - also the synth stuff going on in this track is nothing if not addictive.

And yes, the language is course and explicit but that is Ben Folds, and it really shouldn't suprise anyone anymore. He's one of the most un-pc unapologetic muscians alive. Example - Bitch Went Nuts - perhaps won't go down especially well with the feminists, of which take up about 0% of Ben's fan base anyway - but it's just undeniably good.

Favourite track at this exact moment - Effington - it's strangely compelling. If i had to choose a track to cut and there was a gun held to my head, I'd choose Dr Yang. I just hope no-one ever holds a gun to my head.

This won't get the recognition Ben deserves, but we're all used to that by now anyway, and no fan should be dissapointed with this effort - it's just too un-boring.
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