Monday, August 26, 2013

Ben Kweller - Sha Sha

Ben Kweller's debut combines the best parts of Weezer (loudness and distortion applied to songs with strong melodies) and Ben Folds (excellent songwriting with a wisenheimer bend). Considering how talented the guy is and how great his albums have been from the start, it's surprising that I have never really met a die-hard Ben Kweller fan. I've spent most of the last 2 decades in record stores and have never even heard anyone really rave about Ben Kweller. Maybe I should be the one to do it, because I love the man's music.

Sha Sha is as much a testament to Ben Kweller's greatness as anything in his catalog. Every song is a hand-crafted piece of perfect power pop. The arrangements are constantly interesting and varied. "Family Tree" could easily be a Jonathan Richman tune, "Wasted and Ready" sounds like a great Weezer song, and Kweller actually sounds a little like Rivers Cuomo on this track. "Walk on Me" could be a hit on any Ben Folds album. "Falling" could have been an Elton John hit in any decade. The album is almost its own mix tape.

Baleeted? No. But I should listen to this album again, and soon.

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