THE DEAL: Musician Ben Folds gives the words of author Nick Hornby a sonic life.
THE GOOD: Musically, the songs sound great. That's a tribute to the ability of Folds. The guy has made songs on the spot about ChatRoulette (look up his Fillmore Charlotte performance on YouTube) during his live shows, so it's no surprise that he can make anything into a comfortable song. The problem is that he's trying to create songs from someone else's words that weren't written with a melody or anything in mind. Where the lyrics were probably better suited for spoken word, Folds has created a sonic landscape to fit them. As for the words themselves, Hornby is a fantastic writer who has incorporated music in most of his works — think High Fidelity. There's plenty of humor contained within, especially with "Levi Johnston's Blues."
THE BAD: I didn't find longevity in the songs. I listened, thought "that was a cool idea ... good effort" and probably won't give it a second listen. The words read more like blog entries than what you'd consider to be song lyrics.
THE VERDICT: A fantastic idea that, unfortunately, stands far from solid footing. Again — great concept that didn't exactly work as far as creating memorable songs.