YMMV / Ben Folds

  • Broken Base: His collaboration with Nick Hornsby, Lonely Avenue. Some say it's the best collection of songs he's ever written, while others feel that Hornsby's writing isn't musical enough.
  • Breakup Break Out: Subverted. Despite being reasonably successful, Ben's not much more of a star solo than he was when he was with his original band.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The Epic Instrumental Opener to "Narcolepsy," and the beginning of "Erase Me."
    • Also, see Ear Worm.
    • "Steven's Last Night In Town" combines the trio with the Klezmer group the Klezmatics, making it epic.
    • His songs for Over the Hedge.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: In song example. "Jesusland" is about Jesus returning and becoming appalled at the people who claim to believe in him.
  • Ear Worm: "You Don't Know Me", with Regina Spektor.
    • "Brick."
    • "Do It Anyway"
    • "Draw A Crowd"
    • "Landed" is an invocation: it's his only song to date that he wrote with the intent of releasing it as a single.
  • Epic Riff: Ben frequently does a piano version; notable ones include "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces", "Annie Waits", "Landed" and "Philosophy".
  • Face of the Band: Even some hardcore BFF fans would be hard pressed to name one other member of the band (Robert Sledge is the bassist and Darren Jessee is the drummer, for the record). This despite Darren writing or co-writing several of their songs. Some even think there's five of them.
    • Not helped by the fact that Ben's solo material sounds exactly like BFF stuff, right down to the distorted bass and having only two other members in his touring band, to the point that newcomers have no idea that there's a difference.
  • Heartwarming Moments
    • The "Do It Anyway" video with Anna Kendrick and Fraggle Rock. SO FUN!
    • "Gracie," a Parental Love Song written for his then five-year-old daughter. It's the closest he's ever come to writing a completely sincere love song.
    • "The Luckiest" is too. adorable. for. words.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Rockin' The Suburbs" has a line about going to the store for some Preperation H after feeling someone "sending dirty vibes my way." In other words, he's pretty "butthurt" about it.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The narrator of "Landed," who shuns his friends and loved ones at the behest of his possessive girlfriend/wife.
    If you wrote me off
    I'd understand it
    'Cause I've been on
    Some other planet
  • Mind Screw: The "Weird Al" Yankovic-directed video for "Rockin' The Suburbs."
  • Signature Song: Ben Folds Five's is "Brick", while Ben's solo would probably be either "Landed" or "Rockin' the Suburbs". Ben has said that "The Luckiest" is the song he gets the most feedback for, as it's become a hugely popular wedding song.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Discussed and inverted while still played straight in "From Above", a song about two people who keep running into each-other, know that they should be together, but end up marrying other people and living unfufilling lives.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: "Brick", about a girlfriend of his getting an abortion, decidedly takes no stance on abortion itself and sticks solely to Ben's melancholy recollection of the events described.