Ben Kweller  
Sha Sha
/ATO; 2002/

rating : 6




more info :

This is the very special kind of album that i can enjoy a lot. But. This album is only half good. not because all the songs are half good, but because only half of the songs kicks ass. It's quite funny actually. The album sequencing is like this : one bad song/one good song/one bad song/one good song etc. So the first good song is the second, and i guess i'm only going to talk about even tracks. It's called Wasted & Ready and the chorus goes like : "I am wasted but I'm ready". I had already heard some of Ben Kweller's solo songs before (he was in Radish before) but i hadn't noticed how much his voice sounded like Rivers Cuomo's. The best songs (the catchy ones) sound a lot like pre-come back Weezer (that's good actually, even though it's not really original). Track 4 then. It's called Commerce, TX and I guess it's about his hometown. It really sounds like a great Blue album outtake, with additional 'ooh ooh ooh ooh / ooh ah ah aah" background vocals. Cool ! Track 5 starts really badly, him singing with a piano but then the drums kick in and the song starts sounding like Ben Folds Five. Unbelievable. I mean, Weezer and Ben Folds Five. It's not as wild as Ben Folds Five, but I'm wondering if he's trying to sound like them or not. Could be a lot worse anyway. So, #6. Another power pop jewel, but without the crunchy guitars, just an acoustic one. and a band. The seventh song is not bad for an uneven number. 

Let's go faster, i have a rendez vous with a lovely girl in about half an hour. 8 : power pop but less weezer-like than the first ones, 9 : country, 10 : weezer, 11. Ben Folds Five. 

Ok, this album is a little better than half good. Let's say it's 2/3 good. Which isn't really bad. Ben Kweller just needs to burn his acoustic guitar and to stick to the power pop/band formula, cause that's where he's the best. And anyway, originality is not necessarily enjoyable.


 /sept 1st 2002/