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Ben Folds Five, ‘Do It Anyway’ – Song Review

'Do It Anyway'
ImaVeePee Records

We think it’s pretty safe to call this one a comeback — and a comeback of epic proportions. After a 13-year hiatus, Ben Folds Five have regrouped and will release a new album, ‘The Sound of the Life of the Mind,’ on Sept. 18. The disc’s first single, ‘Do It Anyway,’ has been floating around the Internet for a few months, but now it’s getting its official release ahead of the album, which is their first since ‘The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.’ Yes, that one really came out all the way back in 1999.

A lot has gone down in those 13 years, though you wouldn’t necessarily know it by listening to ‘Do It Anyway.’ That’s probably a good thing, believe it or not, as more than anything, the Ben Folds Five absence created a void that could only be filled by Ben Folds Five. Fans of the band expect a pretty solid, consistent and known commodity — upbeat, piano-led indie pop ditties or downbeat, piano-led indie pop ballads and anything that makes sense in between — and, if anything, the new song proves they can still deliver.

That said, ‘Do It Anyway’ isn’t just a band attempting to recreate what it does best. It kicks off with a fierce, frenetic groove led by the magic fingers piano playing of frontman Folds, and only builds in intensity from there over the course of its four-plus minutes. “I used to like you, now I think you’re OK,” Folds sings at one point, perhaps predicting a lukewarm reception from the band’s loyal following to the very reunion he is undertaking by singing the song. He ends the piece repeating the title over and over — “Do it anyway, do it anyway, do it anyway, do it anyway” — until it almost becomes a mantra, perhaps a way of convincing himself and his bandmates to follow through with the reunion in the face of doubt. Lucky for us, that’s exactly what they did.

Listen to Ben Folds Five, ‘Do It Anyway’

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