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Ben Kweller


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Ben Kweller Go Fly A Kite Diorama Packaging

Biography

Ben Kweller was born in San Francisco, CA, on June 16th, 1981. Shortly after his birth, his family relocated to Texas where he began writing songs at the tender age of 9. Kweller, now 30, is one of the nation’s most treasured songwriters and performers. His genre-jumping blend of alt rock, piano ballads and folk music has captured the hearts of fans and critics alike, and has allowed him ... Read more in Amazon's Ben Kweller Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATO Records
  • ASIN: B000H7ZZYM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,544 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Run
2. Nothing Happening
3. Sundress
4. I Gotta Move
5. Thirteen
6. Penny On The Train Track
7. I Don't Know Why
8. Magic
9. Red Eye
10. Until I Die
11. This Is War

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Simply titled Ben Kweller , the new LP was produced by Gil Norton (Pixies) and it's the follow up to 2004's highly acclaimed On My Way and 2002's indie rock classic Sha Sha . Like these albums, the new one is brimming with unforgettable melodies and deft craft, while it also expresses a deep, often soulfulness that could only come from one so sensitive as Kweller. Unlike the previous albums, however, every note you'll hear on Ben Kweller was played by the man himself.

Amazon.com

On his first eponymous effort, Ben Kweller sounds wise beyond his years--and younger than ever. Some songs come on mature and understated, like "Nothing Happening," others surge with youthful enthusiasm, like "I Gotta Move." Then again, Kweller is at that midway point between 20 and 30. His lyrics trod the same fine line between young and not-so-young. Rhyming "losing control" with "rock and roll" ("I Don't Know Why") seems pretty facile, but then he busts out with the infinitely more original, "I'm-a just a penny on the train track / Waitin' for my judgment day / Come on baby girl let me see those legs / 'For I get flattened away" ("Penny on the Train Tracks"). It takes dexterity to combine humor and longing without letting both sides down. Repetitive, if heartfelt ballad "Thirteen" messes with the momentum, but Ben Kweller is yet another winner from the man of the same name. His fourth full-length concludes with "This is War," in which the music-mad scientist splices the garage-rock rhythms of the White Stripes with the pop smarts of the Raconteurs... and the Monkees (specifically "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone"). Has Kweller been listening to Jack White lately? Or did he just discover Nuggets? Either way, here's hoping he keeps it up as the tambourine-fueled rocker is one of his best. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Kweller than slows it down a bit with the strangely twangy "Nothing Happening", which wouldn't sound too out of place on a great country album.
Kyle A.
The overwhelming sweet innocence in Kweller's songwriting combined with his brilliantly catchy melodies turns each song into a bouquet of wildflowers.
B. Rogers
As a songwriter, Ben Kweller shows development and maturity, while retaining the enthusiasm and optimism that makes his music so instantly loveable.
Cody Duell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Senor Bike Man on November 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've been a Ben Kweller fan since his first album. There are classic songs on the Sha-Sha album that just caught my heart. With Ben's sequel follow-up CD, I was quite disappointed and I knew many of his fans felt the same.

However, this NEW CD is absolutely Splendid and well-produced! This is very reminiscent of Ben's classic-style and catchy beats. This is well worth a listening to (for me, this will be about the 100th... at least). Check it out, you will be pleased.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Rogers on September 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have been a Kweller fan since seeing him with Incubus a few years ago. A review of his latest album follows:

Ben Kweller's self-titled third album certainly earns its name, with Kweller playing all the instruments this time around. It also marks his first album without esteemed producer Ethan Johns, who had produced both of his previous efforts; working instead with British producer Gil Norton (best known for his work with Gomez and Foo Fighters). The change has Kweller trading in the raw rugged folk sounds of previous albums for a more refined sound, but somehow Kweller sounds more at home in his shiny new digs; crafting an album full of pop oriented rock n roll gems.

The entire album recalls the big glorious rock sounds of the 80s, when giants like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty ruled the airwaves. The same feel good melodic folk rock that made them so refreshing run rampant on Kweller's third effort. Kweller has no interest in aping the classics, despite the distinct taste of Petty that permeates through the breezy "Sundress". The melancholy song finds Kweller expressing his willingness to keep up with his lover's changing desires with the sweet "I do, anything you want me to" hook; further explaining, "And from the inside-out you've changed girl / You know you have, don't make a good thing bad".

The overwhelming sweet innocence in Kweller's songwriting combined with his brilliantly catchy melodies turns each song into a bouquet of wildflowers. Right from the start of the jangling acoustic folk rocker "Run", Kweller's wide-eyed exuberance pulls you in as he looks at his life on the road, and explaining that it would all be better with his wife by his side. Most directly about his relationship with his wife is the gorgeously memorable "Thirteen".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kyle A. on October 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Ben Kweller has always hinted at being a great musician, always showed signs that he would make an impact on music, or at least one or two great albums. When you know how to play 3 instruments and start writing songs before you turn 10 years old, good things are bound to happen. However, for whatever reason, things just had yet to come all the way together for this wunderkind.

In the 90's, his band Radish drew comparisons to Nirvana when they were making music, and Kweller was a teenager through Radish's entire existence. But they were written off by the music press as Nirvana ripoffs and never achieved any sort of real success. After two albums that didn't amount to much, Ben Kweller, not unlike Elton John with Bluesology, decided his talents were too immense for this band, and, no doubt with a heavy heart for the music industry after crashing down to earth, embarked on a solo career. Around the late 90's or early 2000's, he released the album "Freak Out, It's Ben Kweller". The mass audience did not obey the album's command. However, the album did reach the ears of one notable man, and that was all Mr. Kweller needed. Evan Dando of the Lemonheads got his hands on the album, enjoyed it so much that he invited Ben to tour with him, and Ben followed this up with a record deal with ATO records.

In March of 2002, Kweller released the album "Sha Sha", and since then it's been all uphill for the fiery-haired child prodigy. The power-pop stylings of his music on this album garnered him the attention of many indie music aficionados, and his first studio release gained him something of a cult following. When he released "On My Way" in 2004, it was one of the more highly anticipated albums of the year among music aficionados; the phenom's potential had finally been realized.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Greenberg on April 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I've never been prompted to write a review before, on Amazon or anywhere else, but I've been listening to this album for the past month, and I want to encourage everyone to try it out! Ben Kweller is a musical genius - he wrote and performed every instrument on the album. The songs absolutely rock, with amazing chorus lines - a unique combination of 60's influenced psychedelia but with a completely (post)modern twist. There isn't a bad song on the album.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
this new album is great. i understand why some people say its not as good as the past two, because its an album that grows on you. give it a chance, its a really great album. i find this kind of thing happens a lot. it took people years to appreciate weezer's pinkerton. a more recent example is guster's ganging up on the sun. that album was very mellow and turned off some fans, but most people agree its their best album now. give ben kweller's new album a chance to grow on you. its worth it. this album has so much emotion in it, you can tell he put a lot of effort into it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alexander P. Young on May 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD
In Kweller's third album, one can definitely see the ever growing maturity and musicality in his music. The songs remain poppy and catchy, yet the lyrics remain as personal as ever. Kweller further expands on the personal level of the album by playing every instrument - quite a feat. Though a self-described better guitarist and pianist than drummer, it is hard to see any flaws in the musicality of any element featured on the album.

Among songs of note are the obvious "Penny on the Train Track" and "Sundress" - the two singles of the album. The lyrics of Penny are not to deep, but yet not to simple. The pop elements of the piano combined with the rockiness of the guitar create a rather unique song. And the music video that accompanies the song isn't too bad either. "Sundress" is just as beautiful. The song begins with an elegant sounding piano before turning full throttle into a pop/rock sing-a-long.

Other songs of note include the Springsteen-eske sounding "Run" and the incredibly emotional "Thirteen". Though "Thirteen" was originally intended to be about his guitar, Ben turned the song into a love ballad about his wife, Liz. It's a song almost anyone can identify with.

The rockier "This is War" and "Magic" are also personal favorites. Overall, there are little if any flaws on this album. Each Kweller album has it's own unique highlights and sounds, which holds true with this album. For fans ranging from Bright Eyes to Pavement to Ryan Adams. This is truly a must have album.
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