I have a long love affair with Ben Fold’s music but Way to normal may just have been the album where that started to show strains. Not that it isn’t a good album or that I don’t like it, just that it doesn’t live up to the previous ones quite as well. Maybe it’s a nostalgia for what I’d heard before but Way to normal just never hit the same highs for me.
But there may be another reason it never quite hit home and strange as it sounds it’s because this opening track is so good, it’s brilliant, it hits you right out of the blocks and nothing else on the album comes close to it. After this you feel like the rest of the album is coasting, nicely coasting, some memorable enjoyable coasting, but just coasting.
The song starts off with a thump-y piano riff, a catchy Oh-oh, oh-oh refrain and a tense sounding verse. I’d be surprised if you aren’t singing with the Oh-oh, oh-oh’s by the end of the song.
This track is also so brilliantly literal, if you listen to the refrain of
You wanna see what’s in my head?
Check it out ’cause
I got pictures of what’s in my head
It sounds so metaphorical, so wishy washy but when you actually pay attention to the whole song and the lyrics this is a song about falling off a stage and splitting your head open!
The same for
They’re watching me, watching me fall
It could sound like an abstract take on something but it’s not, this is a song about a guy falling off a stage in front of an audience. There’s certainly a strengthening of the case that people will listen to anything lyrically if there’s a good tune but I think the subject does add to the charm of the song. I find it gives it a fun irreverence and makes it an enjoyable song that you can just revel in. Now all together “Oh-oh, oh-oh”.