Volume 92, Issue 61

Friday, January 15, 1999

intruder alert


The Concrete Beat

Finding themselves in The Grand scheme of things

Waking to a devine comedy about life

Have no fear, Ben is here

Canadian rockers fly By Divine Right

Rabbits stray from home

Celebrity Sightings


Have no fear, Ben is here

Volume I

Some simple mathematics to start. Ben Folds Five minus the Five equals Fear of Pop. This plus William Shatner, funk, electronica, rock and dance equals Volume I.

Obviously not satisfied by the creative outlet his group Ben Folds Five creates, Ben Folds recently undertook the side project known as Fear of Pop. For this extra curricular activity, Folds has drawn from every source which his assembled Five neglects. Everything from spoken word recordings of former Star Trek captain, William Shatner, to slow jam funk grooves, to electronic dance tracks can be found on this menagerie of sound.

But is this album a small piece of Beck-like brilliance, or a humourous, satiric statement about music? At its best, Volume I can be described as experimental art rock, which is far more interesting and unique than most of the music which has been released this past year.

At other times, especially during the tracks "In Love" and "Still In Love" featuring Shatner, this album comes off as more of a strange comedic performance. So what should one conclude from this curious compilation?

As Shatner might say, this is a journey to unexplored galaxies which we may only observe and hope to understand.


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Copyright The Gazette 1999