by Noise Pollution
Ben Folds’ most recent album is absolutely wonderful. I don’t know if I’m really capable of breaking it down and discussing it; it’s a little beyond me, I think. I likely lack the context that would allow me to discuss it intelligently. I love the album in spite of myself, though. A number of the songs have already become absolutely precious to me; they’ve become a part of myself that if taken away would leave me devastated. In particular, the track Not a Fan really feels like it belongs in my head.
Not a Fan is a song that starts in a place of understanding: “I’m not a fan/but I understand/if there is something that moves you/that’s not my cup of tea./It’s part of what makes you beautiful/to me.” But trying to be understanding can be exhausting, and his frustration with his partner’s tastes shines through in the second verse. Eventually this all kind of breaks down when it becomes clear to Folds that his partner is much more interested in these other things than they are in their relationship. “I’ll wait in the lobby/go meet him for real./We can all go to dinner/yeah, I’ll be third wheel./So go get your T-shirt signed, fangirl./I may or may not be here when you return.” And then finally: “So fuck you.”
It’s very reminiscent of a relationship I had, though the person I was seeing’s obsessions were only a small part of what broke that whole thing apart. Regardless, Not a Fan is one of the only songs I’ve encountered that really addresses that specific brand of jealousy, and it’s incredible.
My next favorite song on the album is the title track, So There.
“I will not forget you,
There’s nothing to forget….
The album is wonderful. I recommend it wholeheartedly.