Saturday, August 08, 2009

Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!

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I bet you woke up this fine morning and thought "you know, the one thing missing from my music collection is a compilation of "a cappella" versions of Ben Folds songs."

What? You didn't?

Yeah, it seems like a pointless exercise doesn't it and there's no way at all that Mr Folds would invite college a cappella groups to send in their cover versions and then collect the best of them on a compilation CD is there?

What? He did?

Of course to those familiar with Folds' live concerts most will recognise that one of the highlights of the night is usually the bit where Folds orchestrates the audience singing along to Army so perhaps it's not THAT much of a surprise.

Your enthusiasm for this concept will of course depend on one of two things; you're either a big fan of Ben Folds (Five) or of a cappella music. If you're not one or the other turn away now. From my standpoint as the former, this has a curiosity value but little more than that for most of the album. There are occasions, like The University Of Chicago's take on Magic when you feel you're listening to something really special. The problem is that as I'm not in the latter of the two categories, there's only so much "Flying Pickets" I can take in one sitting.

In the end, this is periodically amusing if you're a fan of Folds, but you never really escape the feeling that there is no real need for what you are listening to to exist in a commercially available form. Despite Folds' protestations to the contrary, this is mere novelty.

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