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A really robust offering from Ben (and some guy called Nick),
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This review is from: Lonely Avenue (Audio CD)
This album was originally intended to be in a similar vein to Ben Folds collection of in-between album songs, a bit like Supersunnyspeedgraphic: The LP - a brief collaboration between two excellent artists from two different mediums. Judging from the excellent liner notes that accompany this album though, both Ben Folds and Nick Hornby feel confident enough to assert that this is a proper, fully-fledged album.
And it is. The BBC review is spot on - although I hadn't thought about before, Hornby and Folds share a talent for well-drawn character studies that means you can often mistake this for a standard Ben Folds solo album (and that is not a bad thing). The character sketches here both cut and cackle as ever - 'Picture Window' evokes a solemn London and is an outstanding track, while 'Levi Johnston's Blues' retains a lot of the slightly OTT electo-exuberance which characterised a lot of the songs on Ben's last album 'Way To Normal'.
This is a creative partnership that seems to have bought out the best in both men. The liner notes attest to the creative partnership behind 'Belinda' and it is indeed a really unique song in the Ben Folds canon; embedded with an even greater, sadder irony than some of his best cuts before. 'From Above' gets a special mention becuase its just a great pop song, with excellent backing vocals as well. I really wouldn't mind if they made another album together. Soon.