Artist: Ben Folds
Album: Way To Normal
Rating: B+

First of all, there is an interesting anecdote about this release. A copy of Ben Fold’s latest album
was leaked onto the internet and fans were rightly concerned about the admittedly lacking quality. As it turns out, during a recording session.

in Dublin, Folds made a fake album which he leaked as a practical joke on his fans. This is a pretty good introduction to this self confessed loner’s sense of humour.

Thankfully, this genuine new release, Way to Normal, is easily superior to his fake record. Ben Folds is back on form doing what he does best; singing upbeat songs with a slight edge of offbeat humour. For the uninformed, Ben Folds is an interesting power pop pianist similar to Elton John with more self irony mixed with a little bit of soft rock. Sometimes he plays the ultimate piano power ballads like the impressive ‘Hiroshima’, other times playful, soft listening but always cheery such as the charmingly titled ‘The Frown Song’.

‘Cologne’ and ‘Before Cologne’ are slower and more emotional songs but no less enjoyable. Of course the expected Ben Folds humour makes a triumphant comeback with interesting tracks such as ‘Bitch went nuts’ and ‘Effington’.

Always cute, Folds has come up with another slightly unmemorable album but it’s the type of collection that will put you in a good mood. It is worth giving this one a try as it is a great introduction to the odd world of Mr Folds.

In a Nutshell: A light but enjoyable release from a light but enjoyable artist.

Conor Barry