The new album by Ben Folds & Nick Hornby?

One of my favorite authors, Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy), partnered with singer/songwriter Ben Folds to create an album, Lonely Avenue. The lyrics are Hornby's, the music and vocals are Folds'. Three songs from the album:

"Picture Window"

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"Your Dogs"

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"From Above" feat. Kate Miller-Heidke

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I dig the album. I came to it as a big fan of Hornby, and the experience of listening to the lyrics is similar to reading a new collection of his short stories.

Has anyone else paid attention to this project?

Bonus Q: Favorite Ben Folds (Five) song?

Bonus Q2: Have you ever read a novel by Nick Hornby?

2 Answers

  • Lark
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I love this album so much that if it were possible to wrap my arms around their music and give it an affectionate hug I would. I adore Nick Hornby and Ben Folds, and their collaboration is as emotionally satisfying as a perfectly brewed cup of coffee paired with a great book on a rainy Saturday morning. I've loved Nick Hornby since I was a kid, and I really wish I actually knew him in person. He's got such fantastic insight on life, and is a wonderfully unpretentious, captivating storyteller. I love that he's never preachy, saccharine, or melodramatic, and is often self-deprecating. He's optimistic but in this mellow, realistic way that's totally the opposite of Pablo Coelho and Pollyanna. And he doesn't care about political correctness, but isn't trying to deliberately be vulgar or rude either. He's daring without attention-seeking, and is brilliant in such a humble way. I always cry and laugh through his books, and I retain what he's taught me as a person and an artist. I read this quote of his once where he said that the way you knock through your writer's block is by having confidence and staying in a frame of mind where people will want to listen to you. That helped me with my art.

    Ben Folds is like his musical equivalent. I love how his lyrics are quirky but poignant, and he's got the sort of voice that is comforting but fun and inspiring too. I listen to this album while I'm painting, and it has influenced me so much. This was inspired by "Picture Window":

    I was going through a rough patch then, and it was comforting to hear some of my own emotions through their song. It's refreshingly real. Cathartic. Oh and I love, love, love "Levi Johnston's Blues." It's a snarkfest delight.

    The entire album is fantastic. It's so current, like in a decade when we listen to it again it will be like mental passport stamps marking where we've been these past couple of years. But it's so timeless too because loneliness is, and that is essentially the emotion it's built upon.

    BQ 1: "The Luckiest." What a beautiful love song. I listened to it right after getting my license and sitting in the worst traffic jam on the 405, and it just melted away all the frustration. I actually envisioned how I hope my wedding day will be right then, from that song. I don't want a real wedding. I want a simple, intimate gathering of those who love us the most, and then I want to dance to my husband to this song.

    BQ 2: My stepdad is a huge Nick Hornby fan, so we've got everything he's written. I've read all his books, plus the screenplay to "An Education." Jenny is like a modern Elizabeth Bennet, and her character motivated me to change things in my own life. I love "The Long Way Down" too. You have to read it if you haven't yet. "Speaking With Angels' is a must-buy too. All the profits go towards helping autistic kids in the UK, and it's a great read. (His son is autistic). He got his friends, like Colin Firth and Helen Fielding and Zadie Smith, to write these short stories so he could raise money for autism. "Nipple Jesus" is my favorite.

    : )

    ~ take care

  • 1 decade ago

    I love Ben Folds but I haven't heard of this album. I listened to the songs and they're awesome, thanks for posting, this might have flown under my radar.

    BQ: Still Fighting It

    BQ2: Nope, closest was watching the movie About A Boy, good stuff

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