What do you say about an album that has been with you for 10 years now? I have listened to Rockin’ The Suburbs more times than I care to count and know the lyrics to every single track. The piano driven rock that Ben Folds is so good at creating embodies “Joe rock” in every way and it means so much more to me than just some childhood album. It’s like an anthem for my passage from a Beatles loving child into a regular music-loving child. So instead of just listening to Sgt. Pepper, I now listened to every thing my dad owned. It was a big step for me. Not that it still wasn’t all mostly dad rock, but at least I was past that solo Beatles stage.
But Rockin’ The Suburbs was more than that. It was the first album that had curse words in it that I was allowed to sing out loud in the house. It was the first album based a lot on angst and emotions that I truly didn’t understand yet but knew were powerful. “Annie Waits” was always my favorite song, not because its about a break up, but the piano and emotion in Ben Folds voice was so profound. Only recently as I have gone back and re listened, have I discovered the meanings behind all of these songs I have known for so long. They have so much angst and torment, which combined with Ben Folds voice, really represent the feelings he’s going for so well.
There’s really just a simplicity about Rockin’ The Suburbs that is hard to put into words. None of the music is that difficult. The lyrics are easy to learn and the chorus’ are very up beat and fun to sing along to. There is something for everyone listening to his album. Because everyone has gone through the turmoil that Ben Folds has, he is just putting voice to it all.