Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Wilftonville's Endless Year Of Awards: Worst Male Artist

Worst Male Artist

You think that you already know where this award is going, don’t you? You’re almost certain that I’m going to award this to one of the many acts who have already been disparaged in this column. Well, you’re totally wrong today. Give it three weeks and you’ll be right, but at the moment you’re wrong, because the award for worst male artist is heading off to Ben Folds, who released a new album in 2008 which was almost entirely awful.
The deep shame is that Ben Folds used to be one of my favourite artists – when he was back with his trio, the beautifully named “Ben Folds Five”, he released a fair few albums which I absolutely love. His early work was admirably shabby and student-chic, but then developed into some of the smartest and most brilliantly-produced work you’ll hear. And then he went solo, and his music slowly started to turn away from him. He has good solo songs, and each solo album has at least one worthwhile song on it, but ‘Way To Normal’ is an almost complete failure. The only good song on it is a duet with Regina Spektor, and everyone knows already that anything with Regina Spektor in is going to be fantastic. Because Regina herself is an excellent lady of appealing charm.

Above: Regina saves the day

That aside, the rest of the album is a smug, nasty, poorly-recording piece of work which is irritating and disappointing in equal, gigantic portions. It’s a massive shame to se someone throwing away his cachet in the way Folds has.

Awarded to: Ben Folds

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