Ben Folds has never really made the same sort of impact in this part of the world that he's made Stateside and, upon listening to The Best Imitation of Myself, his career retrospective, it doesn't seem as if that's about to change any time soon. Folds' brand of ballad-heavy, slickly-produced pop numbers are a little to twee and disposable to really make that much of an impact outside of drivetime radio.
Ben Folds is capable of writing a catchy pop song, of that there is no dispute. 'Rockin' The Suburbs', 'Philosophy' and 'There's Always Someone Cooler Than You' sound like ELO mixed with Elton John, but never approach the individual charms that both of these acts possess in abundance. There's too much of a sheen on the music here, too much post-production work, meaning that every track is polished and re-polished, eradicating any sense of personality the songs may have had when Folds initially sat down at a piano and wrote them.
This collection is undoubtedly a good way to get acquainted with the back catalogue of Ben Folds and unlikely to sway any of his doubters. For the already initiated, though, this is everything they could want. It contains all the hits which have made Folds a household name in the US. For others, though, it will seem too easy. Folds has recently signed up to be a judge on NBC's singing competition The Sing Off, a move which should say all you need to know about the North Carolinian's career trajectory up to this point.