Ben Folds

Sunny 16

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While many record companies and musicians ran cowering into their closet when faced with the digital music revolution, a few astute ones like Ben Folds quickly moved to embrace it, and the new opportunities it afforded to break away from the suddenly restrictive-feeling full album format. In Folds' case this took the shape of three five-song EPs also made available through mail order via his own Attacked by Plastic imprint (and, later, partly compiled into the Supersunnyspeedgraphic, The LP CD), of which Sunny 16 was the second and arguably most consistent. It opens with a textbook Ben Folds nerd anthem in "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You"; proceeds through the string-laden "Learn to Live with What You Are," the ruthless indictment of American intemperance, "All U Can Eat," the similarly jaded, sardonic "Rockstar," and concludes with a bittersweet "Songs of Love," originally recorded by the Divine Comedy.

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