General Lonely Avenue Discussion

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Offline Ootini

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Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #90 on: October 24, 2010, 01:14:18 AM »
I find the opposite. I wasn't too fussed by SFS, although it had it's moments. WTN was worse - especially with that awful production and mastering.

I think Lonely Avenue is a real return to form. I think with someone else having written the lyrics, Ben has had the time to write music which complements the lyrics. On SFS and WTN I thought they felt like two separate entities crowbarred together in a way which didn't really work. Don't get me wrong - each album had brilliant exceptions, but on a general level I'm enjoying LA far more.

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Offline Kidney05

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Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #91 on: October 30, 2010, 03:28:01 PM »
I find the opposite. I wasn't too fussed by SFS, although it had it's moments. WTN was worse - especially with that awful production and mastering.

I think Lonely Avenue is a real return to form. I think with someone else having written the lyrics, Ben has had the time to write music which complements the lyrics. On SFS and WTN I thought they felt like two separate entities crowbarred together in a way which didn't really work. Don't get me wrong - each album had brilliant exceptions, but on a general level I'm enjoying LA far more.

would like to agree.  while i think way to normal is slapped together but has a few great songs, I think SFS also has problems.  While the production is pretty good, I hardly feel any of the songs anymore.  I never listen to that album.  I'm just kinda tired of gracie and late and prison food and others, even though i probably shouldn't be.
nobody deserves posts on their myspace site asking if they stabbed basketballs.

Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #92 on: October 31, 2010, 10:16:12 AM »
Password is the best song on this album as far as connecting lyrics with music. I wouldn't say its the best song in general, but as far as turning music to words, this one is perfect. The main vocals are the character's thoughts, what he's saying to himself as hes trying to figure out the password. the vocals that spell are him typing the words. at the 4:10 mark he guesses "anthony." this is followed by a DING of the piano five seconds later, indicating that "anthony" was correct, and he got in. all of the sudden the music  gets dark as the character finds out everything thats really been going on.

i had to listen to it a few times to get it all, but this is such an impressive interpretation of lyrics. ive shown it to so many people and it blows them away each time.

Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #93 on: November 26, 2010, 07:11:38 AM »
Sadly I'm not connecting with this album at all.

The synth feel is a turn off for me and I'm struggling to relate to many of the lyrics, as clever as some of them are. I love the musical structure of 'Levi' for example, but the story is so specific and so of the moment that I don't feel any emotional link. It's like a really clever gag, but the problem with songs like that is that the joke loses the power when your familiar with it.

After the WTN 'fakes' I was under the impression that Ben intended to take a similar, almost improv, approach to Hornby's lyrics. Instead, for me, the album feels overly studied and a bit lacking in spark and energy.

I've taken enormous pleasure in Ben's music and concerts over the journey, but it seems that some of the things that first captured my imagination have gone from Ben's latest music.I was originally hooked by that early 'piano punk' approach that was so refreshing and energetic. As time goes by the music seems to be becoming more 'adult contemporary' than is generally my taste.

Still, Ben is clearly making the kind of music that he enjoys and is challenged by.

I can get behind that!

Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #94 on: November 26, 2010, 07:10:39 PM »
oh yeah, its a different record from the early stuff for sure. im not a huge silverman fan to be honest, so i can imagine where you're coming from. i personally think this album is great, but its all personal taste.

Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #95 on: November 27, 2010, 03:22:27 PM »
I like that my favorite musical artists change over time. To use a dopey sports cliche, you take some big swings and you're going to have some big misses but also some big hits.

Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #96 on: November 28, 2010, 03:31:03 AM »
I like that my favorite musical artists change over time. To use a dopey sports cliche, you take some big swings and you're going to have some big misses but also some big hits.

I get that and have no problem with it. Artists do change over time and so do we. I'm not critical of Ben or this album as such, it's just that my response to it isn't what I'd hoped it would be. I'm sure there are plenty of people who like this stuff better than music that he's released in the past and that's fine. My post is really from a selfish point of view, I had great personal expectations of this album and we don't like each other! Damn!

I'll pinch a couple of tracks for a compilation no doubt and it's not like I don't have plenty of Ben Folds to listen to.

And there's always whatever comes next!

Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #97 on: November 28, 2010, 04:16:05 PM »
True, the glory of the ipod is I can just dump the tracks I don't want to keep (and there are a couple of those for me on this album)

Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #98 on: November 30, 2010, 11:29:14 PM »
True, the glory of the ipod is I can just dump the tracks I don't want to keep (and there are a couple of those for me on this album)

Indeed, when I'm just casual listening through the album I like to rock this playlist:

Working Day
Picture Window (pop version)
Levi
Doc
Your Dogs
Christian Life
Claire's Ninth
Password
From Above
Saskia
Belinda

Minor changes, I know, but important ones (to me) nevertheless.

Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #99 on: December 23, 2010, 02:03:53 PM »
i think christian life should have made the album, or at least been a proper b-side. amazon bonus track...honestly!

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Offline worldswillgrow

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Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #100 on: January 02, 2011, 01:13:32 PM »
Random, but I popped LA in the other day after having not heard it through for awhile and had a few re-revelations (is that possible?), now that it's had a loooong time to sink in.

I liked the album upon first listen, but it really didn't seem like something that I would go back to as often as I do with, say, RtS. Yeah...no. I was wrong. It took awhile, but LA has definitely grown on me (kinda like WtN did, only I can see this one sticking even more.)

DAMN BEN'S VOICE SOUNDS GREAT ON THIS ALBUM.

And Paul Buckmaster could probably arrange strings for a McDonald's commercial and make them sound epic and beautiful.

Wasn't a big fan of "Belinda" first few go arounds. It's now my favorite track, tyvm. I'm kinda wondering if I had a head cold or something the first time I listened to it, because I don't really see how I didn't immediately fall in love with it. Same with "Levi." Didn't love it at first, but it's so damn catchy and brilliant in all it's vulgar hilarity that I can't skip it.

While the strings on "Picture Window" didn't do a whole lot for me, I'm really starting to love them now. They don't add anything, I don't think, at least not as compared to the pop and demo versions, but I'm liking this version of the song just as much as the others.

However, still can't get into "Password." There's nothing wrong with it to me - musically it's genius and lyrically it's kinda clever, but I don't know...I find myself skipping that one more often than not.

But in all honesty, I found the album so much more enjoyable after giving it another thorough listening-through. Like I said, it's certainly grown on me - I like it a LOT more than I did the first few times I listened to it.

Just my random and probably very un-needed two cents.  :)

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Offline You Dont Know Zach

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Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #101 on: January 08, 2011, 09:55:06 PM »
I would just like to say that this album has made me want to play bass for Ben a lot more.

Seriously, the simplicity of the bass line on "Doc Pomus" gets me. It's so great but it's got a great rhythm to it.

"Saskia" and "Your Dogs" are fun to break out to as well.

Kinda sad that Jared's gone but I think the new guy works well. Hope Ben tours the south again soon.

Also, "Claire's Ninth" is one of the best lyrical songs I've ever heard.
dont overplay, keep it simple and in the pocket, support the song, and you will be asked to play more than you have time to. - Chuck Folds

http://www.last.fm/user/YoudontknowZach

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Offline Ziggysane

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Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #102 on: January 22, 2011, 02:58:30 PM »
Gave the album another listen after 4 months on the shelf:

The songs are still great.  My only major objection, "Practical Amanda," even seems to have improved with time.

Unfortunately, my opinion of the arrangements has taken a turn for the worst.  Originally I was pleased with the new layers of synths, guitar, and vocals.  Now, I still think that there are some good ones, mostly the on the sparser songs, but some of them are just so busy and packed to the gills that they feel like a jackhammer.  I can see now why someone said that TUBORM is still the home of the best arrangements because there was more space in them despite the expanded instrumental palate.  I might schedule listen #3 for the near future. 

(I listened to WTN something like 5 times in the first week alone, but that album had a bit more of an adjustment period, as many here know from experience).

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Offline Ziggysane

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Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #103 on: January 25, 2011, 06:41:48 PM »
Damn...I like the album enough now that I'm strongly considering picking up the vinyl, particularly since I just put on a new cart to minimize long-term vinyl damage.

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Offline Zoonie

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Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« Reply #104 on: June 08, 2011, 04:54:02 PM »
Big wave to everyone. Helloooooo.  (Who the hell is this? they ask)

I'll try and stick around for a while - depends if I get a new job or not. the Suburbs is a bit of a time sucker :) ... it's why I stay away!

..although, having said that Allison and Melissa know how much I blather on on Twitter sometimes.

Anyway, I'm not going to trawl through 7 pages of discussion at er... 1.30am, so I just wanted to ask the question: is everyone ok with the idea that Lonely Avenue is like an eighties homage album? From a music perspective, I mean. Most obviously Claire's 9th, which is almost like a John Hughes movie in a song?

Interestingly, well... to me anyway, went with some friends to the one (nnnggg) gig Ben did in London, and he really under played the new album. We kind of thought that whereas Way To Normal was very much a live-context record, which didn't come over as well on er, CD / MP3 / kind of thing, Lonely Avenue might be more of an 'album' than a live... 'thing'. If you see what I mean. He didn't play Claire, and the tracks he did play kind of seemed a bit blanketed, somehow. Yet, I really do think the album is fantastic. So much goodness on that thing.

So.. what's going on? Apart from Ben's cryptic tweet the other day about a 3 CD set or at least, that's what it sounded like?

A weird thing: my friend is married to a writer, who got to know Neil Gaiman in the last few years. My friend put a photo on Flickr of her, and the writer, and Himself, and Ms Palmer all out to supper. My six degrees of separation to Ben have suddenly shrunk somewhat. Although I would have to go through Neil Gaiman to do it. Not sure if that would work.

Hope you're all well. I'm reasonably happily unemployed atm. They gave me a bunch of cash, so I decided to absent myself from having a job for a couple of months. Anyway, looks like I might hang out for a while!

xx
Z.
Hello. I am me.