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Ben Folds Five: Irving Plaza, New York NY

Ira Robbins, Rolling Stone, 12 June 1997

BEN FOLDS pounds out a far more traditional pop message than today's techno titans, but the North Carolina pianoman shares one of their key insights: For a real alternative to alternative rock, just jettison rock's essential instrument. Instead of strumming his pain on a guitar like everyone else, Folds — joined in Ben Folds Five by drummer Darren Jessee and bassist Robert Sledge — refreshes the '90s sensibility with echoes of Elton John, Billy Joel, Little Richard and other two-fisted potentates of the 88s.

Total word count of piece: 245

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