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Artist: Ben Folds
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Rockin The Suburbs CD 1 of 1

Learn more about Rockin' The Suburbs:

Format: CD
Sku: 60500160
UPC: 074646161029
UPC 14: 00074646161029
Release Date: 9/11/2001
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Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Annie Waits ~ Ben Folds
1. Annie Waits ~ Ben Folds
2. Zak And Sara ~ Ben Folds
2. Zak And Sara ~ Ben Folds
3. Still Fighting It ~ Ben Folds
3. Still Fighting It ~ Ben Folds
3. Still Fighting It ~ Ben Folds
4. Gone ~ Ben Folds
5. Fred Jones Part 2 ~ Ben Folds
5. Fred Jones Part 2 ~ Ben Folds
5. Fred Jones Part 2 ~ Ben Folds
6. Ascent Of Stan, The ~ Ben Folds
6. Ascent Of Stan, The ~ Ben Folds
7. Losing Lisa ~ Ben Folds
8. Carrying Cathy ~ Ben Folds
8. Carrying Cathy ~ Ben Folds
9. Not The Same ~ Ben Folds
9. Not The Same ~ Ben Folds
9. Not The Same ~ Ben Folds
10. Rockin' The Suburbs ~ Ben Folds
10. Rockin' The Suburbs ~ Ben Folds
10. Rockin' The Suburbs ~ Ben Folds
11. Fired ~ Ben Folds
12. Luckiest, The ~ Ben Folds
12. Luckiest, The ~ Ben Folds
12. Luckiest, The ~ Ben Folds
After three albums, including the platinum-selling Whatever And Ever Amen, that spawned the hit single "Brick," the members of the Ben Folds Five decided they'd had a great run and disbanded in March 2001. We just didn't have the same drive," says Ben Folds of the breakup. "If it had still been exciting and fun, we would've carried on." Ben Folds' new effort sans band, rockin' in the suburbs was recorded in an old church with producer Ben Grosse (Fuel, Filter) at the controls, and Folds on anything he could get his hands on. Writing all of the songs, and playing nearly all the instruments himself, rockin' the suburbs is 100% classic Ben Folds. But church-studio clarity isn't the only reason why the record is completely engaging from beginning to end. The characters in Folds' songs are touching because, at one point in time, we've come in contact with them. We've all met the Eighties femme fatale in "zak and sara," who forecasts the world of techno in her mind while enduring her dullard boyfriend's attempts at Van Halen solos. Who hasn't confronted a passive-aggressive employer like Lucretia in "fired?", or the spoiled girl enabled by her family in "carrying cathy"? The demanding, suicide-threatening paramour in "losing lisa" has touched more people's lives than rained-out scarecrows and steel mill closings. Even the acid-baked partygoer-turned God's servant in "not the same" is based on a true story so fascinating, it makes you wonder why America has a war on drugs in the first place. The tour de force on rockin' the suburbs, however, is the title track, where Folds slides a psychic-skewer through the kidneys of today's oh-so angry new-metal millionaires. Add producer Grosse's hardware into the equation ("Got a producer with computers fixing all my shi--y tracks"), and you also realize that the singer isn't beyond pointing the knife at himself just prior to jamming out arena-style at the song's end.

"...a pop fantasia that seals Folds' rep as the Cole Porter of underclass underdogs.  Marc Weingarten, Entertainment Weekly
"...Folds demonstrates exceptional skill in marrying wryly observational lyrics to upbeat piano-driven craziness.  Sarah Cohen, Q4Music
"...the new Ben Folds is a lot like the old one: as unpredictable as he is talented.  Anders Smith-Lindall, VH1

Album Notes and Credits

Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Personnel includes: Ben Folds (vocals, various instruments); Frally Hynes, John McCrea (vocals); Richard Fortus (guitar); Larry Corbett (cello); DJ Swamp.
Muze PNote Recorded at Krell Studios, Adelaide, Australia; The Mix Room and Ben Grosse's House, Los Angeles, California.
Muze PNote Personnel: Ben Folds (piano); John McCrea (vocals); Richard Fortus (guitar); Larry Corbett (cello); John Vitale (programming).
Muze PNote Audio Mixer: Ben Grosse.
Muze PNote Recording information: Krell Studios, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; Lafx, Los Angeles, CA; Mad Hatter, Los Angeles, CA; Mix Room, Los Angeles, CA.
Muze PNote Arranger: John Mark Painter.
Muze PNote For ROCKIN' THE SUBURBS, Ben Folds has subtracted two from Ben Folds Five (bassist Robert Sledge & drummer Darren Jessee) and the remainder is one. While math may not be Folds' strong point, penning witty, intelligent pop tunes has been his forte from the beginning. With his solo debut, he proves himself eminently capable outside the safe structure of his able band. Of all the 70's/80's pop icons to which Folds is frequently compared (i.e. Billy Joel, Elton John, Joe Jackson), Todd Rundgren rings the truest. If one extends that comparison, "Still Fighting It" (with its instantly memorable refrain "it sucks to grow up") is Folds's "Hello It's Me," a somewhat simple yet subtly moving and eminently catchy ballad made for radio play.
Muze PNote On the title track, Folds proves he hasn't entirely grown beyond the goofball humor that first captured his audience's attention ("y'all don't know what it's like being male, middle-class and white") as he rags on either himself or (more likely) angry young rock bands like Limp Bizkit. This balance struck between sober maturity and youthful playfulness makes ROCKIN' THE SUBURBS a provocative record.

Producer: Ben Folds; Ben Grosse

Engineer: Andrew R. Wallace; Ben Grosse; Blumpy; Cameron Webb

Artist Overview

North Carolina's Ben Folds Five flouted convention at every turn; for starters, they were a trio, not a quintet. And for an (initially) indie pop-rock band, the absence of guitar (leader Folds was a singer/pianist) was an anomaly. The band's mix of catchy popcraft and offbeat, light-hearted lyrical content. After breaking through to the majors with two late-'90s albums, Folds dismantled the band and continued as a solo artist, scoring a big hit in 2001 with the characteristically quirky "Rockin' the Suburbs." Folds would continue to release crisp pop records sporadically throughout the '00s, while remaining a tremendous concert draw. Along the way, he would produce the long-awaited album by William Shatner.

Compilation Appearances

Muze Music Compilations About Time
Muze Music Compilations I Am Sam
Muze Music Compilations Penelope

Associated Artists and Works

Fear Of Pop
Nick Hornby

Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 09/11/2001
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 2001
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : 61610
Music Label Name Label : Sony Music Distribution (USA)
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00074646161029

Professional Reviews

Rolling Stone (9/27/01, p.70)
- 3 stars out of 5 - "...Pop's most introspective wiseass.... indulging his taste for florid Seventies-style AM-radio pop with epic displays of one-man band virtuosity.... Folds' songcraft is a winning mixture of the plush and the prickly..."

Spin (9/01, pp.160,162)
- 7 out of 10 - "...This is his NYLON CURTAIN...comprehending paradox and understatement like Billy Joel never could..."

Q (10/01, p.119)
- 4 stars out of 5 - "...Sometimes, it sails close to novelty record territory but Folds demonstrates exceptional skill in marrying wryly observational lyrics to upbeat piano-driven craziness..."

Alternative Press (10/01, p.79)
- 8 out of 10 - "...Absolutely beautiful..."

Mojo (Publisher)
(1/02, p.71)
- Ranked #30 in Mojo's "Best [40] Albums of 2001".

Mojo (Publisher)
(10/01, p.130)
- "...Folds' songwriting continues to impress...."

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