The Long, Slow Descent of Mr. Ben Folds

Don’t get me wrong, Ben Folds. I love you to the limit of what platonic, heterosexual music geek love is capable of. But this Postal Service cover is unacceptable. Even if the song was any good in the first place — and honestly, though I like the Iron & Wine version, the song only really works in the context of Gibbard’s cheeseball authenticity and Dntel’s equally dairy-laden production — this version of “Such Great Heights” is just bad. It’s loud, hurried and slipshod, a bull crashing through a china shop on his way to a business meeting that started 20 minutes ago. Peep the video here, if you must.

Worse is the announcement that Folds is releasing select tracks from his 2003 EP series as the Supersunnyspeedgraphic LP (Sony, Oct. 24), which would be great news if he was including the best of the EP tracks instead of clunkers like “There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You.” The two best songs from the Speed Graphic EP, the original version of “Give Judy My Notice” and the stellar “Protection,” are missing. While the album is going to have alternate takes and additional recordings, the source material is all pretty weak except for The Bens’ remarkable “Bruised,” which is certainly worth owning — though you could just pick up their EP here.

Ben Folds – “Such Great Heights”: mp3
Ben Folds – “Protection”: mp3
The Bens – “Bruised”: mp3

(Buy Ben Folds music here)