If you wanted to pair a writer with a musician to create an album, there isn’t a pair who would seem more naturally suited to each other’s style than immensely talented musician Ben Folds and British writer Nick Hornby (“About a Boy,” “High Fidelity”). For this project, titled “Lonely Avenue,” Hornby sent lyrics to Folds, and Folds set them to music.
Well, the result sounds like a series of ultra-short Nicky Hornby stories set to a variety of tunes. Songs like “From Above” and “Picture Window” seem like perfect marriages of Hornby’s wit and Folds’ ironic leanings, but too many other songs seem wordy and awkward. Fortunately, the music is varied enough to sustain interest.
This is not a catchy record, but it is an engagingly listenable one.
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Listen on the beach, at the party, in the car.
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