The song begins with a very open "I was never cool in school" which melds into a piano pop rock song featuring lots of falsettos. The first time hearing it I remember being surprised at just how much a piano based trio can really, really rock. The song ranges in emotion from jovial, to honest, from rocking, to jazzing out, and it has no problems poking at itself.
The Last Polka
Another reason they are one of the most underrated bands. Boxing is a song about Cassius Clay's (Muhammad Ali) indecision on weather or not to continue or retire from boxing. The song could simply sung with just a piano the song and convey more emotion than any other track on the record, but strings and drums come in to fill it out perfectly. That's not to say the rest of the album isn't sung without soul - it just speaks to the amazing job Ben Folds did in the booth on this song.
All in all, it's one of my favorites. It's not the greatest album ever written or recorded but it hits me in a spot that few other albums have ever found. One of my favorite little facts about the band is that they used to tour with an actual piano even when they couldn't afford it because it gave them street cred. I mean, if these guys are bringing an actual piano to a gig - they must be good.
Tomorrow's album: Louvin Brothers' Tragic Songs of Life (1956)