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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lonely Avenue, 5 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Lonely Avenue (Audio CD)
I felt Way To Normal was a little bit of a dip in form, with its occasional thinly-veiled misogyny ('The Bitch Went Nutz'?) sitting uncomfortably with me so I'm glad to say that Lonely Avenue is a return to form. It may sound like an awkward collaboration for an author/musician to produce an album together, but a Nick Hornby/Ben Folds album makes a lot of sense. The partnership - with Ben writing the music and Nick Hornby the lyrics - seems to suit both men perfectly. They complement each other well, and at times Nick's lyrics are almost indistinguishable from Ben's own cuts for previous albums. In fact, Nick Hornby has stated that Ben is in some ways a musical twin, touching on the same feelings, characters and emotions that Nick uses in his stories.

It is a strong collection of songs that to my mind recalls Ben's earlier solo work. The slow piano ballads are brilliant, with 'Claire's Ninth' a particular favourite, as it tells the story of Claire's birthday and the battle fought between her divorced parents. These slower songs are to my ears the strongest, and 'Belinda' is another great song with Ben cleverly incorporating his own take on a 1960s/70s classic into a story about a one-hit wonder who is caught in emotional turmoil as he wrote the song for his wife and, even though he left her, must continue to play it each night as it's a fan favourite. However, more upbeat tracks like 'Your Dogs' and 'Saskia Hamilton' are fun to listen to as both Nick and Ben's trademark wit shine through. The album isn't without misfires though, as the barbed 'political commentary' of 'Levi Johnston's Blues' leaves me a little cold.

On the whole though the album is very good and immediately likeable. The tracks slot comfortably into Ben's canon and a few - 'Picture Window' or 'Claire's Ninth' - rank up there with his best tracks. It is definitely a return to what Ben does best; producing an album that can alternately make you laugh while at the same time tugging hard at your heart strings. It is a witty album full of wonderful songs. You can hear that both Ben and Nick had fun working on it and I hope that they choose to make another in the near future. Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Feb 2011, 12:47:04 GMT
C. Hurley says:
Those comments weren't about his ex wife, just to let you know. He was horrified that people thought that. They get on really well.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2011, 13:03:40 GMT
B. Wright says:
Really?! I guess it's easy to jump to the conclusion given the timing of the album release and the lyrics...Thanks for letting me know, I stand corrected!
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B. Wright
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Gloucester, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 28,971