Thursday, October 26, 2006
Ben Kweller--Ben Kweller (2006)
Release Date-Sep 19, 2006
Alternative Press Rating-100(Out 0f 100)
Dot Music Rating-80
E! Online Rating-75
Review-On his third, self-titled effort, Ben Kweller takes the notion of "solo album" to the extreme, playing all of the instruments himself. For many artists, this would result in an album that's quiet and insular. However, Ben Kweller is nearly as immediate and direct as Sha Sha and On My Way were, but with a little more focus. Kweller's eternally boyish voice is perfectly suited to his tales of young love, hanging out and heartache, whether he frames them in giddy, impatient pop like "Run," earnest tone-poems like "Thirteen," or a sound somewhere between the two, as on the single "Summer Dress." To his credit, though, Kweller sounds a little more mature on several songs, particularly "Penny on the Train Track" and "Red Eye," which asks the surprisingly direct question, "How long will it take before I have your heart to break?" Equally divided between thoughtful ballads such as "Until I Die" and half good-natured, chugging power pop like "Gotta Move" and "Magic" — with the occasional feisty rocker like "This Is War" thrown in for good measure — Ben Kweller treads the same path as Kweller's other work, but fortunately, it still sounds genuine, not formulaic.