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Ben Folds Five are a group of three from North Carolina, Ben Folds - Piano Robert Sledge - Bass Darren Jesse - Drums Unfortunately now split up, this trio have had several successful albums, and a US #1 single (Brick, from Whatever & Ever Amen). Piano, Bass & Drums eh? Different - Yep, the sound that the band produces is quite different from the normal pop sound you hear on the radio. Ben Folds Five is a lively band, playing and writing well - Great musicians. Their music can be very upbeat, with some great piano 'ballads' thrown in there to keep up a nice mix of feelings. So an album of their Naked Baby Photos - What's that all about? Well the Naked Baby Photos album is really a compilation of what they did when the band was young. This is a great selection of songs to illustrate their career up until 1998, through their first album, with some added live, and unreleased tracks. -------------------- 1. Eddie Walker This is a studio-recorded song. Quiet and peaceful, with a great rhythm and chorus this track sets up the album well. ---------- 2. Jackson Cannery This is an alternate version of the song "Jackson Cannery" which appeared on their first album "Ben Folds Five". This was their first ever recorded song apparently - Great to hear the origins of the band. ---------- 3. Emaline This song has a guitar! - Originally intended to be on the first album it was cut to make the album shorter - It would have also wrecked the "no guitars" image. The song is bassy, with a nice rhythm (provided by the guitar) - Great backing vocals, this song was called for at the live performances that I have been to… ---------- 4. Alice Childress Yet another song from their first album, this was apparently their first live radio performance. It is fairly accurate to the original, great vocals - with nice acoustics for recording. ---------- 5. Di
ck Holster A 30 seconds instrumental jam, a long piano solo really, with a little drum and bass in the background - A nice filler. ---------- 6. Tom & Mary A great song, but with weird introductory noises coming from Mr Folds. This song has rhythm, and great bass, you get your feet tapping to this one. ---------- 7. For Those of Ya'll Who Wear Fannie Packs Wow. This track really rocks. When in the recording studio Ben, Rob & Darren just started to play. The sound-engineers left the tape rolling, and this was the result. A great jam session, weird and raw this track is very funny. The strangest lyrics you may hear: "I wanna borrow and alan wrench!, I wanna borrow a mic cable!, I wanna borrow some duct tape!….aggghhhhhh!" ---------- 8. Bad Idea This is a quick, racin' lil' track, fast and hard. Not quite what I expected from Ben Folds Five - But still variety makes for a great CD. ---------- 9. Underground The official geek anthem - "I was never cool in school" - This is a great live version of the song that appeared on their first album "Ben Folds Five" - The recording quality is great, the band lively and fun, with a little crowd interaction too - The atmosphere of a Ben Folds Five gig comes across in this (I've been to two, so I should know!). ---------- 10. The Ultimate Sacrifice An incredibly high pitched scream of "Now are you ready to rock? Brace yourself for some gut wrenching metal!" (how sarcastic) opens the track with a powerful fuzzy bass kicking in. A stomping jam with the piano, nice drumming too - Then a lovely rhyme about going to the toilet - Metal, toilets, what more could you want from a piano pop band? ---------- 11. Satan is My Master A short 1:33min track, recorded live. This has funny lyrics and feeling to the piano playing - "Satan is my master, he has always been. He tells me what to do, he bu
ys my Metallica records for me", a few crashes and then into a quick metal-style jam, before returning to the great piano calm jam. ---------- 12. Julianne A quick live jam on the piano opens Julianne (live in London), then kicks in the main segment of the track, fast and loud - You can just feel Ben jumping on his piano…! ---------- 13. Song for the Dumped From the same London show as the previous track, Song for the Dumped (appearing on the "Whatever & Ever Amen" album) is for all those blokes who have bought dinner (& given black T-shirts) to their girlfriends, just before their girlfriends dump them…"Give me my money back…" screams Folds. This track is a great alteration of the song that appears on "Whatever", it sounds live and vibrant. ---------- 14. Philosophy Recorded in front of a small live audience this is a great song, also appearing on their first album, lyrics are open to interpretation as the CD-sleeve notes… ---------- 15. Twin Falls A live recorded song, with very little crowd noise - Beautiful, slow, however, because it’s a live recording it may sound a little "flat" at times. ---------- 16. Boxing One of my favourite BFF slow songs from their first album, also from the live show from which "Twin Falls" is taken. This song is truly great, fantastic piano, and stunning vocals. ------------------- Well, there you have the tracks…what's so good about this album - The music, seeing a different perspective on a new band - This CD wasn't overly produced or assembled - Its just raw Ben Folds Five. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are a fan then you will love this album, if you haven't heard any other Ben Folds Five albums, then get a different album, either "Ben Folds Five" or "Whatever & Ever Amen" - They are a much better introduction to the band. Still, this
is a great CD, well worth the purchase. Jamie :-P
Some bands, like the Beatles for example, will release an Anthology. Many bands will give us a Best Of... However, true to form, Ben Folds Five have done neither. They gave us Naked Baby Photos... and we love it! So how does it differ from a Best Of, you may well ask. Quite simply, a best of usually contains the best versions of the best tracks, whilst Naked Baby Photos contains famous live performances, original demos, radio appearances and even a couple of 'jamming sessions' which got taped. It's just so Ben Folds Five, and you've gotta love the disorganisation of it as much as you've gotta love hearing these little bits of history. This is definitely a 'fan' record. That is to say, it really does live up to the name, it's like a history book! Hence, if you know nothing about the band then it wont mean anything to you, it'll just come across as a badly organised best of, and you would do far better to check out their self titled debut or Whatever And Ever Amen. Either will allow you to sample BFF, songs ranging from the emotional to the downright mad, but refreshingly, very few guitar parts. Highlights include the original 7" version of Jackson Cannery, Underground live at Ziggy's, Emaline (a track which was cut from the first album because it ruined the whole 'no guitars' thing) and Tom & Mary (also cut from the debut album). If you're a BFF fan, you'll love this just because it's so them. If you're not a fan, check out Whatever And Ever Amen or just steer clear of this one!
Ben Folds Five are really a band that you should see live if you want to appreciate them properly. I saw them after 'Whatever and Ever Amen' came out and they were brilliant. They are so enthusiastic and really make a good show, what with playing the piano with odd parts of their bodies and so on! They are also really nice, I got to meet them afterwards! 'Naked Baby Photos' gives you a rare glance into Ben Folds Live and it is interesting! You can only realy appreciate it if you have seen them live, or are a really big fan as otherwise it just sounds like a load of noise, which granted some of it is! However, they breath life into their songs in a way that can only come across on the live album, so it's well worth buying just to hear how different their stuff can be when sung live. Plus the fact there's alot of previously unreleased material that's well worth a listen.
Naked Baby Photos is a collection of live tracks and rarities accumulated between their debut album and whatever and ever amen. There are some good live versions of various songs including “Alice Childress”, “Boxing” and a sublime cover of a Built to Spill song called “Twin Falls”. There are also a couple of tracks here that didn’t make it onto the whatever album. They are “Tom and Mary” and “Emaline”. You can see that they didn’t quite fit in with whatever album but are still worth listening to. Also included is the Song “Bad Idea” which was originally on the soundtrack to "The Truth about Cat’s and Dog’s". Who said you can’t rock with a piano ! There are also a couple of duff tracks on here as well. “Fanny packs” is amusing but you’ll end up skipping it after one listen. There are some real gems here but not enough to make a classic album This is definitely one for the fans only.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Eddie Walker
2 Jackson Cannery
4 Alice Childress
5 Dick Holdress
6 Tom And Mary
7 For Those Of Y'al Who Wear Fanny Packs
8 Bad Idea
10 Ultimate Scarifice
11 Satan Is My Master
13 Song For The Dumped
15 Twin Falls