Frames of Preference: Ben Folds Five

Ben Folds FiveReleased in 1995, Ben Folds Five’s eponymous debut album featured a fresh mix of piano pop and mid-90’s alt-rock that the frontman once described as “punk rock for sissies.” The music has the same subversive mindset as much of popular music from the 90’s, but it also displays a sense of self-deprecation and silliness that the decade’s grunge or punk rock subcultures seemed to lack. The music is also distinguished by its use of the piano rather than a lead guitar, which adds to the nerdy, “sissy” charm of the affair. The cover, which is brightly colored and blithely sentimental, is a perfect representation of the band’s early style. Also, the featuring of a piano shows that the band wanted to display their distinct style every chance they got.

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