Over the years, Ben Kweller has been all over the place musically but it always made sense. His first band, Radish, was gloriously full of fuzz, power chords and everything great that was the fall out of Nirvana. This leaked over into Kweller’s first solo EP in songs like “Harriet’s Got a Song.” Kweller was a baby of the 80’s and he wore on his sleeve that he grew up listening to the classics like The Beatles and was influenced by his musical peers like Weezer. His cleverness shined on Sha Sha and he finally made the turn with “Wasted and Ready.” A song that still defines Kweller to this day.
Ben Kweller was seen as the next big thing ever since he was a teenager, but it doesn’t seem like that ever got to him. Throughout his career he’s taken left and right turns, but again, those turns always made sense. The Texas boy tried his hand at alt country, because any good musicians goes through phases. Especially one like Kweller who has been avoided being put in a genre corner since he was 15 years old.
With his new album Go Fly a Kite, he’s finally bringing it all together. And while it’s an easy listen, it does lack focus at times. It’s like a journey through his already 20 year music career, but this time he’s doing it all on his own terms. Kweller self-released this new album on his own record label, The Noise Company. His pop side shines in songs like “Jealous Girl” and “Rainbow,” and then songs like “Out the Door” sound straight out of the tight back pocket of his alt country era Wrangler jeans.
Comparing Ben Kweller records to Ben Kweller records, this one falls more into the mediocre, middle of the road material. But hey, that’s not a bad place to be. Like he declares on the opening track “Don’t regret bein’ the ragged kid/Don’t regret anything I ever did/‘Cause I always knew where I’s comin’ from.” You just don’t regret what you enjoy doing.