The Sound of the Life of the Mind

Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2012 Ratings: #751 / 1018
User Score
Based on 14 ratings
September 18, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
ImaVeePee / Label
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A.V. Club

Mind sounds exactly what a mature Ben Folds Five record should sound like: hard-won wisdom and withering observations with an unabashedly sentimental core. 


Folds’s songwriting has aged marvelously, and he, conveniently, is in top form on his old band’s first new recording in over a decade. 

Consequence of Sound

After all this time, the freewheeling Ben Folds Five still do the best imitation of themselves.


This is a solid, if unspectacular, comeback and fans will be crossing their fingers that The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind is a new beginning, rather than a one-off cash-in.

Drowned in Sound

Sadly, perhaps even inevitably, it’s a reunion which is ultimately infected by everything there is to lament about Folds’ ten year solo career


It's a reunion as obligatory and joyless as that damn "Fraggle Rock" video, and Folds' pop chops sound diminished.

Ben Folds. Not much to say. Legend. Genius. Can and should release records till the day he dies as far as I'm concerned, with or without whoever he wants. An absolute vital component of the music industry, and one of the few impeccably talented good guys. 'Michael Praytor' is the hit track here - unbelievable, furious drum fill intro, luscious & full 3-part harmonies, perfect ebb and flow of energy, ridiculous bridge jam - it's got it all. A legendary song. Erase Me, the ... read more
Erase Me - 10/10
Michael Praytor, Five Years Later - 8/10
Sky High - 10/10
The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind - 9/10
On Being Frank - 6/10
Draw A Crowd - 10/10
Do It Anyway - 7/10
Hold That Thought - 7/10
Away When You Were Here - 9/10
Thank You For Breaking My Heart - 7/10

Overall Rating: 83 out of 100 = 83%
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royalflush, patton, erik
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Year End Lists

#33/American Songwriter

Track List

  1. Erase Me 
  2. Michael Praytor, Five Years Later 
  3. Sky High 
  4. The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind 
  5. On Being Frank 
  6. Draw A Crowd 
  7. Do It Anyway 
  8. Hold That Thought 
  9. Away When You Were Here 
  10. Thank You For Breaking My Heart
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Added on: September 13, 2012