Ben Folds - Songs For Silverman (Cover Artwork)

Ben Folds

Songs For Silverman (2005)


Do you remember MTV's "Celebrity Death Match?" I do. I always wanted to see the original "Piano Man," Billy Joel, take on the Piano Man of our generation, Ben Folds. I think Folds could take him. It would be easy with Joel's ever-growing problems with alcohol. You probably thought this was leading somewhere; well, sadly it is not. So with that being said, I introduce to you, Ben Folds' newest album, Songs For Silverman.

Songs For Silverman was recorded in a six-week period in Nashville and will serve as the followup to 2001's Rockin' The Suburbs. Songs For Silverman kicks off with the song "Bastard," a song about growing old. The song is a "Why are you in a hurry to grow up?" kind of song. Folds sings about growing old to fit into a corporate world, only to look back and wish you could be young again. The part of the song that seems to stick out the most are the lyrics "Pretty soon you'll be an old bastard too." "You To Thank" seems to be an attempt at a pub song but falls a little flat. The song has its bright spots at the choruses where Folds sings "I've got you to thank for this" with the piano playing quickly in the background.

"Gracie" is a song dedicated to his daughter. The song is piano-driven but has some strings in it as well. The song starts "You can't fool me, I saw you when you came out", which brings to mind some imagery that one might want to forget. The song goes on with Folds explaining to his daughter all the hopes and desires he has for her in life. He sings towards the end of the song "One day you're gonna wanna go. I hope we taught you everything you need to know." "Late" is the song Folds wrote to the late artist Elliott Smith, which is the most powerful song on the album. Folds sings about all the places they saw on the road, the bars and places they've played, then gets to the lyrics "You saw them too but you never will's too late." He continues on as a friend, and then as a fan when he sings "The songs you wrote got me through a lot. Just wanna tell you that."

The only song that doesn't grab me was the song "Give Judy My Notice." This song appeared on the Speed Graphic EP and was reworked for the new album. Reworking the song did not help and once again it fell flat on its face.

Throughout Folds' career his music has been constant but he has always grown from album to album, and this album is no different. Folds has taken on growing up, becoming a parent and losing a dear friend in Songs For Silverman. Once again, Folds has taken trials and tribulations from his own life and made them relate to everyone.

Songs For Silverman E-Card