Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella! (CD)

A cappella is not supposed to sound this good. The vocals-only genre exists solely for our amusement and ridicule, right? Andy, the dork from The Office was in a college a cappella group, so it’s gotta be uncool, right? Ben Folds may have finally made the oft maligned musical form hip with the release of Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!

After discovering that college singing groups across the country – from The Sacramento State Jazz Singers to The Princeton Nassoons and more than a dozen colleges in between – cover his songs, Folds decided to put together an album of the covers. The result is nothing short of brilliant! Along with taking on Fold’s better known songs like “Brick,” “Army” and “Jesusland,” the performers dig pretty deep into the Ben Folds’ songbook, covering lesser known tracks like “Boxing” (with Folds on lead vocals) and “Selfless, Cold and Composed.”

Folds also re-records “Effington,” off of his latest album, a cappella. The songs, which are all pretty decent to begin with, are actually shown in a new light without the interference of instruments. The release is a fantastic experiment that pays off brillaintly.

Top Tracks: “Not the Same,” “Boxing,” “Army” and about 13 others…

Ratings: 9 out of 10

Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella! / CD / 2009 / Epics / 16 Tracks / http://www.benfolds.com/acappella

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