Ben Kweller - Go Fly A Kite

A likeable album.

Ben Kweller is releasing his fifth studio album ‘ Go Fly A Kite’ this week. After four moderately successful albums that established him as the anti-folk left-field prince of loner pop, Kweller sounds less daring and experimental on his new album. He sounds more like he’s close to a full-on midlife crisis.

He’s 30 now and unfortunately you can tell. Starting off with the uneventful ‘Mean To Me’, on the first half of the album Kweller portrays himself as a wailing troubadour who has some how digressed back to writing songs that would fit either on the soundtrack of Gossip Girl (‘Jealous Girl’ and ‘Out The Door’) or should be played by an angsty teenage garage rock band.

Sounding like a watered-down Pavement on ‘Justify Me’, Kweller seems to have lost much of his youthful joie de vivre which has been replaced by tales of suburban boredom and mundane relationships.

Occasionally, Kweller manages to crank up the diversity of this rather samey album and despite the terrible lyrics on ‘Gossip’ the waltz-like song structure is rather beautiful. ‘The Rainbow’ is a wonderful little ditty that wanders on the right side of vulnerability.

The second half of the album is definitely a ray of light. Kweller infuses his trademark alt country with laidback dissonant vibes that resemble Fountains Of Wayne and old-time anti-folk pal Adam Green.

What it comes down to is that ‘Go Fly A Kite’ is a likeable album, but it sounds like Jet at its worst times and like an American alt-rock band past their sell by date at its best.

Tags: Ben Kweller, Reviews, Album Reviews

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