I guess this should be “I don’t agree with Pitchfork” backlash because I don’t take Stylus seriously enough to respond to reviews I don’t like.
So man, the ‘Fork really skewered Ben Folds today. I’m only pissed that their review went up before mine. You’ll be able to note a few comparisons – we both mention “Uncle Walter” in reference to “Bastard” and we both like “Gracie.” Marc Hogan (the reviewer, natch) gives Ben a lot of shit for recycling piano parts, which is generally right on until he tries to relate “Emaline” to “Sentimental Guy” and “Prison Food.” Saying he doesn’t “remember anything” about “Prison Food” is a pretty awesome cop-out for probably the album’s best song and lets him drop his review an extra half-point.
Anyway, as discerning listeners and Ben fans, you know the ‘Fork hasn’t given him a sterling review since the first Ben Folds Five album anyway (7.6 for Whatever And Ever Amen is nice, but it’s no “Best New Music.” Apparently an 8.5 for Okkervil River isn’t either, but Stylus beat them to the punch by making it album of the week.), so it’s a big toss-up anyway. I’m sure the new album by Neutral Milk Hotel’s drummer is way more awesome.
(Um, I actually wouldn’t mind hearing it if anybody wants to share.)
Critical Backlash is a column where I complain about things.