Ben Folds Five, a trio from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, play an unconventional type of music. While contemporaries are using guitars, strings, and synthesizers, Ben Folds Five only use three basic instruments: bass guitar, drums, and piano. Their second album, "Whatever and Ever, Amen," was released in 1997, but the band has recently become a regular on television and radio due to the success of the single, "Brick." A song that Ben Folds describes as, "My senior year of high school," the song actually deals with the controversial issue of abortion and the affects it has on the two teen parents. With Folds singing lead and playing the piano, bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee provide harmonies.
The band is currently on tour, but took the time to put together a compilation CD titled "Naked Baby Photos." This album recaps the band's four years of recording and touring, mixing old demos with live performances. Non-released tracks also appear with jam sessions like "For Those Y'all That Wear Fanny Packs," where Jessee takes over the lead vocals for a humorous change. The band decided to release this album to allow the fans who have not attended a live concert, to get to know the band a little bit more. The album captures some of Folds' zany humor and the excitement of a live performance. With only a few more concerts left on their tour, Ben Folds Five is appearing on late night talk shows and is planning to work on a forthcoming album back in Chapel Hill..
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.