Pin It
Favorite

CD Reviews 

Ben Folds & r & & r & Way To Normal & r & & r & 3 STARS & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & B & lt;/span & en Folds is one of the oddest balls in pop music -- "normal" is the last word that comes to mind. And he rocks. "Hiroshima," for example, could be the next sports anthem sing-along if it were about something other than him falling off stage at a show (in Hiroshima) and the resulting MRI scan. (You can even see inside his skull in the disc's artwork.) And "Bitch Went Nuts" is even more hilarious. It starts off with the line "She stabbed my basketball" and goes on to more than earn the disc's "Parental Advisory" label, all set to some seriously frantic ivory-pounding.





Folds is more somber on the standout "Cologne," which is reminiscent of his last record, Songs For Silverman -- a much better record but not quite as fun as Way To Normal. With track names like "The Frown Song," "Free Coffee" and "Dr. Yang," Folds' absurdist streak is on full display -- reminiscent of former piano players like Billy Joel and Elton John, but way, way less normal.





-- TED S. McGREGOR JR.





DOWNLOAD: "Cologne"





The Streets


Everything Borrowed


3 STARS


& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & A & lt;/span & few years ago, in its England laboratory, the Streets concocted music's crystal meth: U.K. garage rap. It's a bold genre by nature, the equivalent of mixing oil with water.





But for whatever reason, the improbable union has worked for Mike Skinner, the one-man band behind the Streets. His 2004 effort, "A Grand Don't Come For Free" was a dazzling concept album that told the tale of a love-lorn loadie grappling with fame and substance abuse.





His fourth joint, "Borrowed," isn't as tawdry: Skinner takes on religion and the weather and personal strength. He's still experimental and brave in his attempts to push the limits, but "The Escapist" is a rich ballad with lyric appeal. He knows when to call upon his spoken-word strengths.





In the end, Skinner is riddled with wacky strengths and baffling minuses -- he can't rhyme, and doesn't -- though he's managed to produce a captivating, queer sound.





-- TIM BROSS





DOWNLOAD: "The Escapist"
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Trust Busters
  • Trust Busters

    Why strengthening antitrust policy is essential to our economic well-being
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • Mardi Bras
  • Mardi Bras

    Do Something: How to get involved with your community this week
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • Facts, Not Fairy Tales
  • Facts, Not Fairy Tales

    In Boise, state leaders are doing their best to prevent students from learning scientific facts
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Seek Grace — and Tea
  • Seek Grace — and Tea

    Fear is keeping us caged; knowledge can free us
    • Mar 10, 2016
  • This Isn't Normal
  • This Isn't Normal

    America has gone down this road before, and it's a dead end
    • Dec 1, 2016

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age

Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 7

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

    Why we're filling the streets to protest Trump's inhumane, dangerous policies
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Obscene Gestures

    Spokane political party leaders hope to harness post-election passion into civil discourse. But so far, there's only been more strife
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Comment


do something


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Corralling the Candidates
  • Corralling the Candidates

    Wading through four more hopefuls seeking the GOP nomination
    • Jul 15, 2015
  • Swap Holidays
  • Swap Holidays

    Celebrating Indigenous People's Day instead of Columbus Day would be a great start to better race relations in Spokane
    • Oct 8, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation