Whatever and Ever Amen  
Artist: Ben Folds Five  
Label: Sony 

High-energy honky-tonk piano-driven alternative-pop. Think Barry Manilow or Elton John. Unfortunately, this second CD with its over-emphasis on ballads is lacking the energy that distinguished their first release, but it's still a pleasant listen. The big arrangements of "One Angry Dwarf," "Kate" and particularly the klezmer sound of "Stephen's Last Night in Town" capture the dazzle of their live shows. Mild use of profane language. --Shari Lloyd  

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