Ben Folds' third solo album 'Way To Normal', though not necessarily bad, is probably his weakest effort to date. The songs are pretty hit or miss: there's the melodically pleasing single 'You Don't Know Me' featuring the talented Regina Spektor, and the fun & catchy 'Errant Dog', but some tracks, like 'Hiroshima', which came from an improv-ed song at a concert in Berlin, and the fairly bland 'Kylie From Connecticut', are pretty forgettable. One that was particularly disappointing was 'Free Coffee', a potentially cool jamtronica tune that's almost ruined by liberal use of a grainy effect. Still, it's a decent CD, and is worth buying if you're a fan of Folds. If you consider yourself among the hardcore, however, I recommend getting the special edition CD/DVD combo.
The main feature, an hour-long behind-the-scenes documentary, contains interesting interviews with Ben's parents, tour group, and even former teachers & principles. You get kind of a mini-biography of Folds as told by his friends and family, a look at the recording in Dublin of the fake leaked songs, and some extra tour footage (Tambo-cam :) ), all with studio recordings of 'Effington', 'Errant Dog', 'Frown Song', and 'Kylie From Connecticut' mixed in. The DVD also contains a somewhat-bizarre, but interesting recording of 'Cologne' featuring a "piano orchestra" and Ben's kids (awwww), filmed on a strange German music show [look for the cat-lady], and the music video for 'Hiroshima' by Corn Mo. Unfortunately the video for 'You Don't Know Me', done by Tim and Eric of "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job" was not included, presumably because it wasn't finished in time for the DVD's release.
All in all: