Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. But for all of its snickers, ''Suburbs'' is serious business -- a pop fantasia that seals Folds' rep as the Cole Porter of underclass underdogs.
  2. As good a record as any he's made, possibly his best.
  3. Folds cracks jokes and spins incredibly sad tales with no restraint or common sense, and oddly enough, we love him for it. [Oct 2001, p.79]
  4. Sure, it sails close to novelty record territory but Folds demonstrates exceptional skill in marrying wryly observational lyrics to upbeat piano-driven craziness.
  5. He still tinkles the ivories with dazzling skill and his scything comments on breaking-up and the emotionally inept are all too easy to identify with, yet the most enamouring thing is that he manages to do this all without being zany or patronising.
  6. 80
    Like the best of BF5, it's both plaintive and punky.
  7. The new Ben Folds is a lot like the old one: as unpredictable as he is talented.
  8. That dirty "sellout" feeling does go away with time, as the subtle touches and clever songwriting ease some of Folds' production changes. [#11]
  9. 70
    Folds' songwriting continues to impress. [Oct 2001, p.130]
  10. 70
    In many ways, this is his 'Nylon Curtain.' [Sep 2001, p.160]
  11. A worthy, but occasionally frustrating album...
  12. 60
    When he's not being sour, Folds' flair for melody and simple, economical arrangements can create wonderful moments. [Aug/Sep 2001, p.122]
  13. Sometimes the humor verges on camp (the title track), or the poignance drowns in Barry Manilow-isms ("Still Fighting It"). But mostly, Folds' songcraft is a winning mixture of the plush and the prickly...
  14. Folds seems to want to please everyone on the disc, making the listening experience a bit haphazard, if not a little predictable.
  15. Although the album is far from a failure, it rarely reaches the peak of its creator’s potential.

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