Sometimes absence does more than make the heart grow fonder; sometimes, it makes the music bette r. With a group like Ben Folds Five (a trio, despite their tongue-in-cheek name), that was a tall order, but it has happened, nonetheless. When the incredibly talented gentlemen parted ways—amicably—after their tour for The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, they each built successful careers based upon their individual musical talents. …But then the trio reunited five years ago for what should have been a one-time event—and they’ve just been having too much fun to stop.
Having taken time apart to grow as individuals and musicians has propelled the trio’s music to a new level. The 2012 studio release The Sound of the Life of the Mind was the first place to really showcase this enhanced sound, but it’s on 2013’s Ben Folds Five Live (recorded on their worldwide 2012 tour dates) that fans can really hear the band’s growth.
Ben Folds Five Live features great recordings of some of Ben Folds’ hit solo tracks (“Brick”, “Landed”), as well as outstanding live versions of some of the trio’s early hits (“Narcolepsy”). Yet, some of the best tracks come from their most recent studio album. The track “Erase Me”, with its dazzlingly moody sound and contempt-laced lyrics, is possibly one of the best post-breakup songs ever recorded. On the other extreme is the infectious, vivacious “Do It Anyway”, encourages the listener to take risks, despite the potential for heartache.
Below is the official video for “Do It Anyway”. (Yes, it features Fraggles, Anna Kendrick, Rob Corddry, and Chris Hardwick. Ben Folds Five is just that awesome.) For more information about the band, or to view their lyrics or videos*, visit their website here.
*Fair Warning: All Ben Folds Five music is good music, but not all Ben Folds Five music is good workplace music.