online listen
another one I had hopes for that bombs
CH has expressed his dislike of Ben
not sure why, I think he has a great voice
have a couple of albums which I like
either I changed or this sucks, maybe both
I do like the included track, but that was it
1.3 from me and a converted 2.2 from the pros at allmusic

from the album - Away When You Were Here

released Sept 18th, 2012

Bio - from allmusic

Led by the pop-minded prowess of their namesake frontman, Ben Folds Five dispelled any misgivings about a band's
ability to rock without guitars. Calling themselves "punk rock for sissies," the Chapel Hill natives were often
grouped with the nerd rock movement of the mid-'90s, although their debt to jazz music -- not to mention Ben Folds'
acerbic spin on the classic pianist/songwriter tradition -- ensured the trio a long-lasting legacy after their split
in October 2000. The band also provided a launching pad for Folds himself, who continued releasing piano-based pop
songs well into the subsequent years.

The group's story is, in many ways, the story of its de facto leader and namesake, Ben Folds. The son of a
carpenter, Folds was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Upon graduating high school in the mid-'80s, the young
songwriter drifted from place to place in hopes of discovering a good scene to sow his brainchild. Throughout a
decade in which hair bands ruled the airwaves, Folds spent frustrating stints in Miami, Chapel Hill, New York, and
Europe before landing in Nashville in the early '90s. In spite the fact that Nashville was a songwriter's mecca, or
because of it, Folds found the city's approach to songwriting frustrating and exclusive. While producers and
managers wanted obvious hits, Folds wanted, instead, to follow his own muse, and a notoriously eccentric one at

When Folds finally drifted back to Chapel Hill in 1994 he formed a piano-based trio with bassist Robert Sledge and
drummer Darren Jessee, and within weeks, the band cut an indie single that attracted the attention of Caroline.
Their 1995 self-titled debut sold enough copies to warrant the kind of major-label bidding war that young bands
fantasize about. Eventually signing with Sony, the group released Whatever and Ever Amen and continued the strenuous
touring schedule that the band had become known for. Releasing the singles "Battle of Who Could Care Less" and
"Brick" into a climate awash with soundalike guitar bands, Ben Folds Five and their witty, offbeat, piano-based
music were a welcome difference and the group became critical and commercial darlings.

Inevitable comparisons to piano composers of yore such as Todd Rundgren, Billy Joel, and Joe Jackson followed, but
the group fought hard to maintain their individuality. Over the next two years, Ben Folds Five kept their name in
the press by releasing songs on soundtracks, as well as an album of outtakes, B-sides, and early live appearances
called Naked Baby Photos. In early 1999 they released their third full-length album, The Unauthorized Biography of
Reinhold Messner. In November 2000, Ben Folds Five abruptly announced their split, shocking fans and the media.
However, the trio quickly announced that they would be pursuing individual projects. Bassist Robert Sledge was going
to put his own group together while balancing his tour efforts with former Squirrel Nut Zippers multi-
instrumentalist Tom Maxwell's group the Minor Drag. Drummer Darren Jessee also went after similar opportunities,
playing club shows around New York City. Ben Folds didn't stop either, for the singer/pianist contributed "Lonely
Christmas Eve" for the Grinch soundtrack, as well as the cut called "Wandering" for the 2000 independent comedy 100
Girls, before releasing a string of successful solo albums. The group re-formed in 2011, contributing a new track to
Folds' 18-track The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective. They made it official the following year with the
release of The Sound of the Life of the Mind, the band's fourth studio album, and first since 1999.

Album Review - from allmusic

Outside of a decent yet forgettable, one-off new track that appeared on Ben Folds' 2011 Best Imitation of Myself: A
Retrospective compilation, it's been an awfully long time since the Ben Folds Five have graced listeners with a
full-on dose of their signature blend of nostalgia and snark. Sound of the Life of the Mind, the trio's fourth
studio album pretty much picks right up where 1999's Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner left off. Anchored
by the instantly familiar interplay between Robert Sledge's distorted bass, Folds' percussive yet always melodic
piano, and Darren Jessee's meaty yet always lyrical drum work, the first two cuts -- the funereal, art-punk-infused
"Erase Me" and the retro-pop gem "Michael Praytor, Five Years Later," the latter of which sounds like it was
egregiously left off of Jellyfish's Spilt Milk -- sound like they arrived via wormhole. The band has always been at
its best when allowed the freedom to run around and kick stuff, and those tracks, along with the frenzied "Do It
Anyway" and the propulsive title cut, which was co-written with Lonely Avenue collaborator Nick Hornby, are right in
the band's wheelhouse, but Folds' has made a name for himself as a proper AOR balladeer since the group's demise,
and the Sound of the Life of the Mind reflects that change, allowing for a ballad-to-rocker ratio that slightly
favors the former. Of those slower numbers, the lovely and unguarded "Away When You Were Here" packs the most punch,
but it feels like something off of Songs for Silverman rather than Whatever and Ever Amen, and like the pretty yet
forgettable "Sky High," it kills the momentum that was so skillfully applied before it. That said, sarcastic, sweet,
subversive, geeky, and awkward are hard vibes to juggle, but Folds, Sledge, and Jessee manage more times than not to
keep all of the pins in the air, which after more than a decade apart, is pretty remarkable.

Track Listing

1. Erase Me
2. Michael Praytor, Five Years Later
3. Sky High
4. The Sound of the Life of the Mind
5. On Being Frank
6. Draw a Crowd
7. Do It Anyway
8. Hold That Thought
9. Away When You Were Here
10. Thank You For Breaking My Heart