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Ben Folds Five: The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner

Erik Himmelsbach, Spin, June 1999

NOW THAT they have your attention, Ben Folds Five want you to feel their pain. Although the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, drums-bass-piano combo rose through the indie-rock ranks as dweeby wise-asses, the bordering-on-novelty schtick was merely a crowd-pleasing diversion from the band's true calling: contemplative excursions into meticulously crafty balladry. Proof positive was 1997's monstro crossover hit ‘Brick’, where Folds wore his Elton John obsession prominently on his black turtleneck.

Total word count of piece: 311


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