I’ve always felt that Ben Folds has been in this strange limbo his entire career. In “chart” terms, he is barely a one-hit wonder for his song “Brick” back in the 90’s. Remember that time? Yet for most of his career he has been apart of the Sony records machine, and has done extremely well for himself, selling out large venues, and continuing to make more songs with his quirky brand of pop music.
For his first album on the not-quite-major-label-but-owned-by-Warner, Nonesuch Records, his final track, “Belinda” is a classic pop song about a singer with a one-hit wonder, forced to sing it every night. The protagonist in the song wrote it when he was in love with his woman, but met someone else. So when he sings the song that he has to sing, he sings alternate lyrics in his head in order to get through it. Musically it sounds like a classic pop song, accentuated by string arrangements, and a melody that feels like you’ve heard it before. You can stream it here!
Lonely Avenue by Ben Folds and Nick Hornby is out on Nonesuch Records now!