107. Song No. 1,440: “Bruised,” The Bens
The Bens, 2003
College Me really, really loved Ben Folds and Ben Lee, two similarly named musicians hailing from two different hemispheres who were creating decidedly dissimilar kind of music. So when they and another Ben — Kweller, who I’d seen play with Death Cab for Cutie and liked well enough — put together a supergroup of three Bens in a trench coat doing a music record, I was all in.
The resulting four-song EP was a beautiful little treat born of the merging of Bens, a bite-sized album that showcased their various strengths and blended their complementary elements (especially three-part harmonies) just long enough for it to be a charming side project that didn’t overstay its welcome or try to outkick its coverage with a nifty but limited gimmick.
“Bruised” was the wee album’s final bow, catchiest tune and strongest showing — and a constant on my mixed CDs for yeeeeeears after I fell in love with it. Like, given my recent Ben Folds renaissance, I can’t believe I forgot to include this absolute gem (on which Folds is the main vocalist), but am amped that a later return means we’re just starting a reunion that ought to stick around for a while.
I haven’t let myself leave it at “I love this song” all that often. But I honestly just love this song whole-heartedly, and it feels like enough to get back in touch with being this head-over-heels about some silly little song I cannot believe I let fell out of constant rotation.