"This is the album I will submit for the next Voyager to be launched into space," writes the singer-songwriter-pianist-raconteur Ben Folds in his liner notes for The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective, the first deliberately considered overview of his music career (so far). This new assemblage includes Ben's demos, iconoclastic 1990s indie rock recordings and live shows with Ben Folds Five, 21st century solo work and collaborations, topping off with three new Ben Folds Five recordings, the group's first in nearly 12 years. The collection, he continues, "is my best shot at an honest assessment of where I was in each period of my career."
In autumn 2011, with Ben reprising his role as celebrity judge on "The Sing-Off," the a cappella singing competition series returning for its third season as part of the NBC Fall line-up beginning September 19 (check your local listings), the time is right for a look back at Ben's musical evolution.
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