Supersunnyspeedgraphic The Lp Best of, Explicit Lyrics
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Supersunnyspeedgraphic, the LP (CD) is a compilation of 12 tracks from Ben Folds' internet EPs, b-sides, and a bonus track from the "Over The Hedge" soundtrack. All of the tracks are different from the original versions: they've been partially re-recorded or remixed, and all have been remastered.
Once you figure out where the title comes from, it makes perfect sense. Supersunnyspeedgraphic is a convenient collection assembled primarily from limited edition EPs Super D, Sunny 16, and Speed Graphic. The 12-track release, which follows Songs for Silverman and the Over the Hedge soundtrack, also culls from The Bens EP with Bens Kweller and Lee (a word to the expectant mothers out there: if you want your son to become an alternative pop star, just name him Benjamin). Longtime listeners know what to expect from Folds--Joe Jackson-esque vocals, clever wordplay, and tuneful melodies that rely more on keyboards than strings. For the uninitiated, it all probably sounds pretty commercial, but there's some risqué material here. As with Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman, who excelled at enveloping edgy lyrics in radio-ready trappings, there are a few numbers on this rerecorded, remixed, and remastered disc that won't be rocking the airwaves anytime soon, like the piano man's stately version of Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't S**t." Depending on your point of view, the online sensation is either admirably ironic or unalterably offensive. Folds's more straightforward covers of the Cure's "In Between Days" and the Darkness's "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" are unlikely to ruffle as many feathers, but they're a better fit for his jaunty power pop-meets-new wave style. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In 2003 Folds gained unlimited access to a studio and recorded a no frills EP with Ben Kweller and Ben Lee under the name of "The Bens." Along the way he had an idea: "Why not record just for fun and sell whatever comes out online as MP3 files for a buck a piece?" The result is a series of four Eps, all of which were also eventually released as CDs via Folds' website.
Says Folds about the releases, "As time went on a part of me that's still stuck in the old school wanted a copy I can hold, break, scratch, throw away or use underneath the leg of the coffee table. Something I can't delete; a full-length long play record album. To be in the store!" Hearing this (after buying all of the 5-song EPs, mind you) I was excited at Folds' appreciation for the diminishing art of actual album craft ... and then I saw the pre-release tracklist. Ugh.
How Folds can leave "Wandering," his best ballad since "Brick," off of SuperSunny is bewildering. How can he include his embarrassing Dr. Dre cover and not one of his most brilliant songs ever is offensive. This is the guy that released Whatever and Ever, Amen and Rockin' the Suburbs - two seamless full-lengths - how can he botch this, a surely classic album? Well, he did, says the obsessive, opinionated music aficionado.
To most, Supersunnyspeedgraphic is just another killer Ben Folds album. And fine, it does have a lot of good tunes on it, but again, "What could've been." Starting off with a cover of The Cure's classic "In Between Days" is a fine choice, considering he meets the "if you gotta do it, do it better or do it different" criteria for a cover song. Folds - believe it or not - does it better, changing Robert Smith's new wave cult favorite into a timeless pop song.
The next four songs, "All You Can Eat," "Songs of Love," "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You" and "Learn to Live with What You Are" are classic post-Suburbs Folds, arguably creating the best top five tracks on any of his albums.
The seven tracks that follow are spotty. Had Folds chosen different songs (ahem, "Wandering") from his EPs - and maybe even "Heist," "Still" and/or "Family of Me" from his rececnt Over the Hedge soundrack - he'd have on his hands his fourth great album. Instead, we get a thrown-together time killer to hold us over until Folds' upcoming studio album. Oh, whatever and ever could've so easily been. (Greg Locke)