Naked Baby Photos
our score: 5.0 out of 5.0
time I ever heard of Ben Folds Five, contrary to most of the world,
was from a CMJ magazine/CD. I bought it originally for the article
on Ani Difranco since I was a new fan and all. Inside was a CD
and one of the songs featured was Ben Folds Five's "Battle
of Who Cared Less." While I dug the song, it didn't prompt
me to buy any of their stuff, even though I'm a sucker for the
piano and Ben Folds is a very talented pianist. No, what prompted
me to buy a CD was the release of "Brick." Damn the
"Whatever and Ever Amen" was an awesome CD, but I wasn't
a true fan until I (tada!) read Bill's review of BFF's debut (here).
He convinced me that it was worthy of buying. So, I did. Wow!
It's their best release, in my opinion. One can NOT be depressed
listening to that album. Then, The Unauthorized Biography of
Reinhold Messner (their final album) was released. I should've
jumped at the opportunity to hear their new stuff, but I didn't.
I waited a good year or two before I bought it. I think it was
because I was a bit apprehensive about the term "rock opera."
I was pleased with it, nonetheless.
Then, I found
Naked Baby Photos.The rest is history. This is going to
be a classic for any BFF fan. Most of the songs are the original
demos of their debut; others are live versions. In the live version
of Underground,for example, Ben sings, "I was never
cool in school
I'm sure you don't remember me." Then,
someone from the audience shouts, "Who the f**k are you?"
Audience claps, screams, and laughs to which you can hear BFF
trying to compose themselves and finish the intro of this song.
It's quite humorous.
a few songs which never made it to their other CDs, but they are
worthy to be here (including the only Ben Folds Five song to feature
guitar - "Emaline"). They are probably the gems of the
album; songs that are recorded in one session, totally spontaneous
are often the best stuff. Or, just can stand on their own and
make you wonder.
Some of these
songs will indeed make you laugh, "For Those of Ya'll Who
Wear Fannie Packs" is one of those. It's definitely interesting
BFF do piano-rap.
The one thing
that I loved about BFF was their chemistry in the songs. They
just worked great together and this album captures that.