Ben Folds deepens musical layers via a capella

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Ben Folds is set to release a new greatest-hits album, titled Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella on April 28. It was recorded with college a capella groups. Read more in the Paste Magazine article below.

A new kind of greatest-hits record

Ben Folds returns with an entourage—they intonate their voices at breathtaking levels, overlapping in a seamless harmony throughout the album. The singer/songwriter takes the back seat and lets the college kids channel their inner Folds, and they successfully do so—often stealing the spotlight away from Folds.

The groups incorporate their own sound and reinvent the tracks. The Ohio University’s Leading Tones added some Blues and R&B on “Brick,” and the University of Georgia’s With Someone Else’s Money brought some much needed angst to “You Don’t Know Me.” The University of Colorado’s Buffoons lose some of their identity in “Landed,” sounding eerily like Folds himself at times.

The instrument-free, re-vamped “Effington,” a single from his 2008 album Way to Normal, is Folds’ best moment. One of the two tracks he recorded for this album, the song sounds more like a party than the tormented track it’s supposed to be.

Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella! shows once again Folds’ need to live outside his own artistic margins and celebrate talent, as well as others’ appreciation for his songwriting.


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