And yet, it isn't very good.
I wanted to give it about a day, because everyone else seemed really excited and I didn't wanna just barge in to your happy place with my dick out, spinning in circles, wetting everything down with my +5 Piss of Dampening Spirits. Plus, maybe this new song, Do it Anyway would grow on me. I even tried minimizing the window, so I wouldn't have to be distracted by the disappointment of Rob Corddry & Anna Kendrick somehow managing to be not entertaining whilst surrounded by Fraggles. Who the hell would have thought that was a thing that could happen, by the way.
But no. Listened to this thing 4 times now and it still feels to me, musically, like a drunk, labored sequel to Jesusland. This is not the feel I wanted to feel heading into the release of the first new Ben Folds Five album in over a decade. Another track, Erase Me, is a little better: A shifting, lurching, pounding thing that might be a little too complicated for its own good, (it's like a complete song with broken pieces of two other songs glued to it at odd angles) but manages to hold my attention for the duration, at least.
Luckily, there's Draw a Crowd, which is the feel I want to feel heading into the release of the first new Ben Folds Five album in over a decade. So maybe it's not all bad. I'd prefer to think the previous two songs are just Carter Burke-level Bad Calls in choice of promo singles, and that the album itself proves there's still some piano gold in them thar North Carolina hills. It would help me forget that somehow, a Ben Folds Five music video starring the Fraggles fell completely flat when there is no fucking way on earth that should have been the case.
The Sound of the Life of the Mind by Ben Folds Five is available for purchase now.