One Track Mind: Ben Folds Five, "Jane" (1999)

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Like last week’s OTM, we’re profiling a song played by a pianist whose preferred method of attack is the trio format. Aside than that, there’s nothing that could be more different about today’s flavor, as we go from a twenty-six minute long cerebral jazz track to a three minute pop tune. And since it’s pop, I’m not going to bother to dissect Folds’ Fender Rhodes or Robert Sledge’s fuzz bass that roars up from the calm in the last chorus.

I’m not even going to give you the usual paragraph or two devoted to providing an artist background because everyone should know who this guy Ben Folds is. I will say that I like Jane because it’s a fine example of Folds’ practicing the long lost art of writing a memorable melancholy melody and put it in the nice, warm wrapper of a vintage Rhodes.

So next time you pull out your copy of The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, instead of playing “Army” and “Regrets” over and over again and skipping over the rest, take a break from Ben’s gleeful irreverence and pretend that Joe Jackson or Todd Rundgren had returned to form.

It’s easy to imagine when you listen to Jane.

“One Track Mind” is a weekly drool over a single song seemingly selected at random and a short thesis on why you should be drooling over it, too.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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