You know when Christmas is just around the corner as the record labels get all those compilations out along with all the ‘best of‘s by artists. In this case ‘Imitation Of Myself – Retrospective‘ is a great way to get into the mind of this musician. He started out in a band (with the added ‘Five‘) who attained alot of good reviews. I hadn’t realised that he had gone solo as far back as 2000.
The always impressive ‘Brick‘ opens the album and rightly so, such a masterpiece which I always thought this would be a good track to use in a movie. ‘Annie Watts‘ follows this and is just as radio friendly yet remains unknown to most people. As with most tracks the piano leads most of his compositions, ‘Landed‘ certainly benefits with the string arrangement compared to the original version.
My stand out track is the upbeat and quirky ‘Rockin’ The Suburbs‘ which pre-dated Arcade Fire‘s venture in those directions. In fact that would be such a cool gig together. It’s hard to pigeon-hole his style of music as he can use such complex arrangements to make it sound so simple.
Moving up the scale from this ‘Smoke‘ goes massive when he employs the services of the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra giving it a bigger musical vista of sound. In contrast working with Regina Spektor on the catchy ‘You Don’t Know Me‘ shows this guy can adapt well. He’s a likeable yet hard-working artist who’s been beneath the radar for so long in the UK. So if you know someone who’s a fan of early works of Elton John or the in vogue Michael Buble why not introduce them to the soundscapes of Ben Folds. 8/10.