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End of the year playlist #7- Ben Folds- Cologne

December 17th, 2008

2008’s “Way To Normal” was billed as a return to form for the wise-cracking piano man after 2005’s sad sack “Songs For Silverman.” The joke’s on us: as great as some of “Normal’s” rockers may be (“Effington” was a runner up for this slot), the best track is a break-up ballad. “Cologne” displays Folds’s knack for simplicity and emotional understatement. It’s about letting someone go, not wanting to get off the phone (counting down “4, 3, 2, 1” and hanging up together), or just imagining a discussion about a news item, a discussion thrice-divorced Folds knows he can’t have. Factor in layers of multiple pianos and some clever string work on the piano’s interior (see if you can track down the alternate take for the outro with the choir) and you’ve got a song that stands among Folds’ best.

 

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