Ben Folds - 'So There'

8/10

Long-time fans of the irreverent singer-songwriter Ben Folds will need no convincing on what a joy his music is to listen to. But for his latest release, he has looked to do something a little different and showcase a whole new side to his musical direction. Collaborating with New York-based classical ensemble yMusic and Nashville Symphony, this new album aims to revive the nostalgic 'chamber pop' genre, popularised by The Beatles and Beach Boys back in the 1960s.

Essentially, chamber pop is the use of a classical arrangement in pop music and while you can think of numerous bands who have done this throughout the years, hearing an album put it all together with deliberate intentions really highlights the tone of its use in modern music. Starting out with eight short tracks before ending on a 21-minute "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra", the record is concept release which aims to entertain rather than simply impress its audience.

Ben Folds' musical style has always had this strong level of exploration to it and this release is simply another peg in his creative output. Glossy yet driven, 'So There' is definitely a nice and positive sprite in the current mainstream landscape.

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