Ben Folds – So There


Over the last few years Ben Folds, the quirky piano player, has been performing shows with local symphony orchestras  – with a core part of the show being his original “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra”. With that in mind it is no surprised to see that artistic approached carried over to So There.

Recorded with the Nashville Symphony, the concerto shows up as the last three tracks in the album.  Accounting for last 25 mins of the total 51 mins of the album, the vibe from is carried across to the opening tracks. Gone are the pop style songs from previous releases and projects and in their place is songs performed in collaboration with yMusic – an six-piece classical ensemble from New York.

In a way only he does best, Folds doesn’t let the more mature sound influence signature straight shooting, with a hint of goofiness, lyrics that makes him seem more of a friend than a performer. There is what you would expect – references to boy bands and the phrases such as “y’alls know what I mean” – the song is called “Phone In A Pool.”

While the yMusic songs are well written musical pieces – Fold’s piano skills take a backseat, perhaps by design as the songs are Fold’s with the orchestration in the background, but rather a true collaboration. “Phone In A Pool” and the opening track “Capable of Anything” are catchy, but the songs lack the catchiest of previous releases which may turn some casual fans away.

The concerto stands up for itself – while I’m not an expert or huge fan of symphony  music – I found it really enjoyable. This piece wasn’t written as Folds playing with an orchestra supporting him, but rather a piece written for the orchestra with the piano only coming in when and where its needed.




About Author

Living among the too-many-to-count theme parks of Orlando, FL, Andrew is always looking for an excuse to check out a show, buy some vinyl, modify (instead of play) his guitars, and eat food your mom would consider unhealthy.

Comments are closed.