A truly great songwriter whose lyrics paint vast stories in few words, it appears as if Ben Folds hasn’t won the widespread respect earned by others.
Maybe it’s down to his outward geniality, odd covers and occasionally comical songs; all things at odds with the dour image of the serious singer-songwriter.
This collaboration with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra works best during his more heartbreaking songs – the sorrowful fate of ‘Fred Jones’, ‘Evaporated’s emotive agony and the surreal storytelling of ‘Not The Same’ all benefit hugely from the orchestral accompaniment. It’s a shame, then, that ‘Zak And Sara’ feels crowded by comparison and that the wonderfully subtle ‘Annie Waits’ is drowned in fanfare. So whilst some songs benefit hugely and the performance is an interesting concept, Ben Folds’s solo shows and band performances are far superior.
An intimate studio set performed with his regular band, Live At MySpace, has also been released