Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Ben Folds and Nick Hornby Make a CD…

Posted by Caitie F on October 14, 2010

It is called Lonely Avenue and you should run (or drive) out to your nearest music store (don’t bother with Target, last we checked they didn’t have it) and get it! Yes, actually BUY the CD and don’t just download it. You will want the notes (and did you know it is usually cheaper to buy a full CD than getting it online?).

How could this CD go wrong? You have one of my favorite authors and my favorite musician coming together. Hornby wrote the lyrics and Ben did the music. It is a perfect collaboration.

If you don’t know Ben Folds, he is a rock/alternative artist with a piano. His sound is unique and completely amazing. He and Hornby make such a great team since Ben’s songs are usually stories (check out Rocking the Suburbs too, one of the best CDs of all time), and every song on this album is a story. Which is why you want the physical CD, Hornby wrote about the origins of the stories in there.

Onto the actual CD. I top rated every song on it. It is a great mix of fast and slow and full of songs that will get stuck in your head. I love all 11 songs, but I thought I would pinpoint three of my favorites to try to convince you to get it. . . and picking those three was almost impossible.  Read to the end because I am talking about Ben’s best song EVER last.

3. From Above – This song could have been just average, It talks about how we can pass our soul mates everyday and not even know it and how people can be happy with  the life they have and not know how much better it can be. It focuses on  two people who are so close to meeting so many times. Cool concept and a great melody

What really makes it something is a few lines at the end

“Maybe that’s how books get written
Maybe that’s why songs get sung
Maybe we owe the unlucky ones”

It becomes a commentary on how art can be created. Then the chorus suddenly means so much more.

2. Levi Johnston’s Blues

First, this song is not suitable for children, but don’t blame Nick or Ben. The chorus was actually posted on Levi’s facebook page.

It is a great song. It doesn’t make fun of Levi, it doesn’t criticize him, it just takes a look at what it was like to be him. it doesn’t matter what your political leanings are, a few lines make you feel a little bad for the guy.

“So we talk and it turns out we don’t believe in abortion
And sex before marriage is against our religion
And when I try to tell them I’m eighteen years old
They say, Levi, it’s too late, you gotta do as you’re told.”

I mean, who wants that? And jsut TRY to get the chorus out of your head once you have listened to it.

1. Picture Window.

This is Ben’s best song ever – both musically and lyrically. I teared up a little the first time I listened to it. It is about a family and the kid has checked into a hospital on New Year;s Eve. The kid has been sick for a while – it isn’t exactly stated, but it sounds like it could be cancer. There is a big picture window in the room with a spectacular view and it is really pissing the mom off because there isn’t any joy. If you have ever had a loved one really hurting or sick, you have felt the chorus.

“You know what hope is? Hope is a bastard
Hope is a lair, a cheat and a tease
Hope comes near you, kick its backside
Got not place in days like these”

Wow – that is AMAZING anthropomorphism. It is some of the best writing I have ever heard in a song – and I am not surprised because Hornby is a brilliant writer.

And the song is so beautiful, with piano and full strings. It is one of the most beautiful songs and even if you don’t buy the entire album, go get that song.

If I haven’t convinced you, set your DVR for Jimmy Fallon tonight, Ben and Nick are guests and they can convince you themselves!


2 Responses to “Ben Folds and Nick Hornby Make a CD…”

  1. Jason said

    Great post, Caitie — and the album IS fantastic. I still might argue that The Luckiest is his best song, but Picture Window certainly comes close.

    Interesting, and I didn’t think of this till I read your post — From Above and The Luckiest are about pretty similar themes, aren’t they? The whole “What if I’d been born fifty years before you in a house on the street where you live/Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike/Would I know?”

  2. Aarti said

    I think I’m late to respond here, but I’m glad you enjoyed Lacemaker & the Princess! I think it was better than I was expecting it to be, which is always good 🙂

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