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New Music From Ben Folds Five – “Do It Anyway”

If you’re like me, and I’m going to assume you are, your head is about to spin from the news of a new track by Ben Folds Five. Informally released yesterday by Mr. Ben Folds himself, “Do It Anyway” is one of 11 new songs you can expect from the first Ben Folds Five album in 13 years (tentative release date of September 2012).

I was a giant BF5 fan. Like, giant. If you’re unfamiliar, they were what I like to call “a jazz trio with a punk rock attitude”. Yes, the “five” were in fact a trio consisting of piano, bass and drums. Heavily jazz and blues influenced, with hints of bands like Jellyfish and an almost Nirvana-esque attitude on stage (stomping piano keys, heavily distorted bass, and throwing of drum stools across the stage). Their biggest single, “Brick” was a misleading ballad for an often-times energetic rock band.

Ben’s lyrics always amazed me by being so cutting and honestly poetic, yet simply-worded. And usually with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. His solo career has since taken him to new heights, including a seat on the judging panel of NBC’s The Sing Off along side Boys II Men’s Shawn Stockman and singer Sarah Bareilles (for which he has been referred to by press as “Reality TV’s Best New Judge”). He has even collaborated with author Nick Hornby and Star Trek actor William Shatner on numerous occasions.

Despite this well-deserved fame, I was always partial to Ben Folds Five and the crazy dynamic that group brought to pop music. I was heartbroken when they announced their split in 2000.

Fast-forward 8 years, and Ben Folds Five reunited for the first time to play Myspace’s Front to Back live concert series, where they performed their last record The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner in it’s entirety. Needless to say, rumors were flying about a potential reunion.

Finally, last Fall Ben announced that the Five were going to take a crack at writing new material for possibly a new record. Then last night, Ben presented us fans with an unmastered new track titled “Do It Anyway” as a free download, stating that we would hear “the other 10 tracks” this September when the album is released.

Enough blabbering, have a listen to a piece of the first new Ben Folds Five album since 1999:


What do you think?

2 replies »

  1. It’s not bad. I think I have to listen to it 4 or 5 times to get into it. It feels like it’s all over the place. Not much structure but then again that’s what I like about it. Not much of a Ben Folds Five fan to begin with but this is a bit different than stuff I’ve heard from them. At least it’s not some slow piano filled love song.

    • totally valid. What I like about this track is the few moments of breaking structure… and my favorite of Ben (and the Five)’s stuff is usually the more rockin or driving songs. the ballads are really great, but I think he tends to lean on the more mellow side, so I’m looking forward to something more upbeat for now