People are always complaining that performers/celebrities should stick to what they know -- musicians shouldn't become actors, actors shouldn't become filmmakers, and so on and on. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
But what if someone stuck to what they knew, but were still able to dip their toes into another genre pool? That's pretty much what happened when Nick Hornby, the writer (High Fidelity, An Education, About a Boy), teamed up with Ben Folds, the musician (Ben Folds Five). Together, using Hornby's words as lyrics, and Fold's musical composition, they've created a new, fun album called Lonely Avenue. It's definitely unconventional, but also a case of "Why hasn't this been done before?"
And for the most part, it works. The lyrics aren't really in any normal format, per se -- they're still like mini-stories -- but Folds adds in the pop touch that only he could. It's worth checking out, if not out of curiosity for a creative collaboration, then for pure pop fun. (And be sure to check out their solo stuff too -- Hornby is one of my favorite writers.)
Stream the entire album here, and then you can purchase the album plus an accompanying book of stories and images here.
-- Chau Tu