It has been three years since Ben Folds has cranked out an album. The last time we heard from the piano man was back in 2005 with his disc Songs For Silverman. For solo album number three, titled Way To Normal, it seems the content of his material this time round is back to the crass, profane pop jams that made his live shows such a riot several years ago.
The album was produced by Dennis Herring (Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse), mostly recorded at Folds' own studio in Nashville. The first single, "You Don't Know Me," also features guest vocals by Regina Spektor. The album is apparently filled with crowd pleasers, such as "Hiroshima," "Bitch Went Nuts" and "Dr. Yang."
About the new tunes, Folds said: "This new album is really about me being free, which is why it feels cathartic and expressive. It's about me coming back to being myself." (Hence the title.) "I came out of the courthouse, kissed the ground, and walked straight into the studio. I felt like a bottle of champagne that had been shaken for 18 months and popped open in the studio. That's why this record has so much energy."
In case you haven't been following the life and times of Folds too closely, his comments on coming out of the courthouse refer to the finalization of his two-year divorce. With a sad patch now behind him and a bit of spark back in his music, we're looking forward to checking out Way To Normal when it hits stores on September 30.