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The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£5.83+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2003
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
on 4 March 2001
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2001
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2000
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
on 25 April 2003
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 1999
Reinhold Messner (for all you Ben Folds Five beginners) is the third of their albums and perhaps not appreciable to its full extent without hearing the first two. Reinhold, with its achingly beautiful melodies and lyrics to make you cry, shows how their music has matured since their chirpy, flawless first album. Unlike so many other bands, the last track is the album's masterpiece. It is a truly beautiful piece of music the like of which you are never likely to hear by anyone else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2001
After buying the first 2.5 albums (with Naked baby Photos not really being a proper 'album) I bought this. And its a cracker. Its much deeper and mature than the previous albums with none of the starnge little bits of chatter between the songs, or odd ragged edgedness. This is a serious album. The music itself is moslty very mellow, and totally reflective on life, and the past. Its almost like following someones life in song, each song flows into the next sublimly, and the lyrics stir something very deep inside of you. "You're the Magic that holds the sky up from the ground", "I loved you before I met you, and I met you just in time cos there was nothing left". it really is quite an amazing listening experience. If at first you dont like it, dont give up. listen to it in the bath, or in the car, or whatever you can, becuase it will start to move you, and youll start to love it. Definatly buy this album if youre after some mellow but rocking and very heartfelt, but not love songs, then buy this. Its fantastic
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2001
As a fan of BFF, I bought this cd expecting to hear tracks in the same genre as both BFF and Whatever... I was sadly mistaken and in the beginning I hated it. Not one to give up,I gave this cd my undivided attention and discovered that in fact it is one of the best collections of music I've ever heard. The choice of music and lyrics has a more grown up feel than previous offerings. Definitely one of my favourites. Its a pity the band have now gone their own separate ways but it will be interesting to see what each former member produces. If you buy this, listen with an open mind and enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 1999
Not what I was expecting after the first albums, but nonetheless, several listenings of this album have revealed that is does have as much to offer as Ben Folds Five and Whatever and ever amen. Gone is the incessant liveliness of the first album, but instead we have a selection of what are for the most part genuinely gorgeous songs with some great lyrics, although not all of these come through without the aid of the inlay. Basically, give it a try and a chance. It may not be the Ben Folds Five we all know and love, but it certainly got lots of other great qualities to make up.
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