Review: “University a capella” – Ben Folds

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Ben Folds has always written very catchy pop songs with clever lyrics, but he’s never reached the commercial success that he deserves. Sure, he’s had a couple of minor hits, but why this guy is not selling millions upon millions of records is mind-boggling. He’s never been an artist who is afraid to take chances and release anything he wants. This takes us to his latest effort….University a capella.

Folds traveled to college campuses all over the country and found the best a capella groups to record some of his best songs. He recorded them live in recital halls, rehearsal rooms, living rooms, dorm lounges, lecture halls and campus television stations and what he came away with was a stellar collection.

The Ohio University Leading Tones turn in a great version of “Brick,” Washington University in St. Louis Mosaic Whispers belt out the great “Still Fighting It,” The Spartones from Greensboro, NC start off the CD with a stellar rendition of “Not the Same,” The Washington University in St. Louis Amateurs do justice to the moving ballad “The Luckiest,” and the females of The West Chester University of Pennsylvania Gracenotes perform a haunting version of “Fred Jones, Pt. 2,” the sad tale of a man who loses his job after years in the same position. The University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers’ version of “Army” is great, as is The University of North Carolina Loreleis’ “Jesusland.”

Folds decided to do all the vocals himself and turns in excellent performances of “Boxing” and “Effington,” a song that references my old hometown of Normal, IL.

Folds has always been an artist full of surprises, and University a capella is a perfect example of another brilliant one.

Ben Folds Official Website

“Jesusland” – UNC Lorelais

“Still Fighting It” – Washington University of St. Louis Mosaic Whispers

“The Luckiest” – Washington University of St. Louis Amateurs

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