Friday, February 4, 2011

Quick Review - Lonely Avenue

I'm going to lift a page from Adam's blog and write a brief paragraph about a few albums that are getting spun (olde fashioned term that has no meaning in this digitial age) in my life instead of doing a full blown 400+ word review like I used to do when I wrote CD reviews for cold hard cash.

The first to get such a treatment is Lonely Avenue, the newest Ben Folds album. Over the years I've enjoyed some of his albums, specifically the Ben Folds Five albums and his first solo album and the one he did with William Shatner and the little EPs he put out. But for the last five or six years he's been quite unsatisfying. It's almost like he knows his latest work is subpar and tries to defuse negative reviews with the first song, "Working Day" in which he dogs nobody bloggers who say bad things about his music. If the shoe fits, buddy... He also takes a scathing stance against Levi Johnston, the young man who impregnated Sarah Palin's daughter. And by "scathing" I mean Ben totally rips this guy a new one and repeatedly calls him a farking (insert other term) redneck. Ben... how old are you? Have you not made mistakes in your life? What number of marriage are you on? Oh, wait... you're so intent on distancing yourself from your own redneck North Carolina past that you charge full speed against anyone that reminds you of such.

Melodically there's some good things going on but the angry lyrics full of unneeded profanity make this a difficult listen. Only the song "Claire's Ninth" is as good as the songs on Ben's first solo album, lyrically. I'm a bit sketchy on the details but all or most or some of the lyrics on this album were written by Nick Hornby, an auther known best for the music-novel High Fidelity. I read it a few years back and it must have not made much of an impression on me because I've not felt inclined to read another Hornby book since. However Hornby captures Fold's lyrical voice perfectly. Or Folds wrote the lyrics because I'm not finding a huge leap in lyrical quality, not that Folds was a slouch in that department, if you like the dour kind of thing.

All in all a disappointing album that will steal no more of my time. I’ll give it a six.

And lookee there… I’m just about hitting the 400 word mark. I guess you can’t teach an old aardvark new tricks.

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