Ben Folds is probably most vividly remembered for his work in the '90s, when he seemed to come out of nowhere with his impassioned piano-based pop and a string of hits including "Brick." But by then, Folds was a veteran musician who had honed his skills as a multi-instrumentalist before moving from his native North Carolina to Nashville. That background could explain why his songwriting has more depth than that of many other singer-songwriters. Folds also became a well-known producer with a knack for trying crazy yet creative ideas, such as bringing Adrian Belew and Henry Rollins in to record on a William Shatner song a few years back. On last year's The Sound of the Life of the Mind, Folds sounds more charged-up than ever.
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