Piano and strings set the tone; the violin bows whimsically over the medley, the deep voice of the cello sings its song. And just as you're about to wonder what you're listening to, here comes the flute, playful and poetic, to tell the listener to have a seat and relax; this is going to be fun.
Who is this? Is this Beethoven? Chopin? Gershwin? No. It's Ben Folds, and this album is nothing like you have heard from modern rock/alt/pop music, and that's a good thing.
What an amazing, creative album! I don't believe I have heard a band since ELO, perhaps, that mixes modern music with an orchestra. It's almost as if Mr. Folds wrote this album just for my inner classical music geek.
The icing on cake for So There is the last three tracks: a full-fledged, 3 movement, 20-minute Piano Concerto, written by Mr. Folds and performed by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
In a music world being taken over by The Voice and American Idol, it's refreshing to listen to an album by an artist who truly is a student of music and music theory. This album is Beethoven for the 21st century.
Disclaimer: This is really my first foray into Ben Folds' music. I do not know any of his other solo albums, so I don't know if this album is on par with what he usually does. That's the beauty of my New Music Project: I'm listening to albums I never, ever would have listened to otherwise.