Thursday, September 23, 2010


Due out Sept 28th and streaming in full here

Ben Folds used to be a great artist. Perhaps he still is, but somehow he seems to have lost his way for a bit. I remember when every college dorm seemed to be playing Whatever and Ever Amen.

He's back, this time with Lonely Avenue, a collaboration with English novelist Nick Hornby. Lonely Avenue will be released September 28 on Nonesuch Records. The album features music and vocals by Folds and lyrics by Hornby, with string arrangements by one of the most influential pop string arrangers of all time, Paul Buckmaster (David Bowie, Elton John, Leonard Cohen).

Apparently it's been made made specifically to be listened to on vinyl. It was recorded on 2-inch tape and will be available on audiophile-grade vinyl, cut with the Direct Metal Master process at Abbey Road Studios and pressed at Pallas Manufacturing in Diepholz, Germany. Don't worry you can still download it or get a CD.

The idea to create an album of Folds' unique pop songwriting sensibilities with Hornby's insightful prose was conceived during a dinner conversation between the two friends one night in 2009. After that, Hornby began regularly emailing lyrics to Folds, who then turned them into Lonely Avenue's 12 musical short stories. The songs touch on subject matter ranging from a mother with a child in the hospital over New Years Eve to the work of Doc Pomus, lyricist of countless `50s and `60s pop hits.

Ben Folds first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed platinum selling Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording three studio albums in addition to a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances and a remix record. Folds also recently released Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!, a collection of his songs performed by college groups. In 2009 Folds was featured as a judge on NBC's a capella competition The Sing Off (a role he will reprise later this year on the show's second season), and earlier this year Folds' viral Chatroulette video became a YouTube sensation, garnering almost five million views when he joined a video chat with an unsuspecting online companion live during a show in Charlotte, NC. Folds previously collaborated with Hornby on a song for the Folds-produced William Shatner album, Has Been, which the Huffington Post called "one of the few records in recent memory that dared to tell the unvarnished truth about the human condition." In addition he has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart, and four sold out nights with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House.

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