Way To Normal - Ben Folds
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: The seventh album for the artist was produced by Dennis Herring.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. This is the first album where his artistry seems fully realized, both in terms of subject matter and performance. Witty, balanced and highly charged.
  2. There is nary a weak link to be found. More than anything, Way to Normal is simply Folds’s way of showing us that, at 42, he’s still doing this piano-power-pop thing better than anyone else around.
  3. It's a handy metaphor for the record, and Folds in general: Obsessed with love but with a careful eye for the absurd, humanizing details. [Nov 2008, p.160]
  4. As a release for anyone else, this would be a well received and respected release. But for Ben Folds, whose first two solo outings were both phenomenal, he simply hasn’t lived up to expectations.
  5. Way to Normal may win a few fans back who balked at the newfound sincerity that peppered his last two or three records, but a little more nuance and a lot less displaced teen angst would have made it palatable for everybody.
  6. 60
    Folds is incapable of mediocrity, but Way to Normal comes way too close.
  7. He issues his grievances with a smart-ass certainty, rarely showing empathy or compassion for his characters or admitting that maybe it's his perspective that's skewed.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 29, 2013
    I like Ben Folds when he is fun. Lately he has been awfully serious.

    I get tired of critics expecting fun or angsty artists to mellow out
    in their 30's and 40's. They reprimand their music for being "amateurish" (allmusic.com quote) if they are still brash and bratty later in their years and that is what has happened here.

    Hiroshima, Dr Yang, Went Nuts, and Effington are really fun songs and remind me of early Ben Folds. And he always has great ballads and Cologne and Kylie from Connecticut fit great.

    The rest is pretty blah and an EP of just the above songs would have been stellar. "You Dont Know Me" is an okay tune too

    I like this wayyy better than Songs For Silverman. I mean, great you made a song for your daughter. Who Cares? Sing it to her cause I sure don't know Gracie