Ben Kweller | On My Way | Rating: 8.2/11 |
There’s this theory regarding bands having a sophomore slump, meaning the release of their sophomore album will have far less success than the debut. A good portion of bands do suffer from this, but every now and then the really talented overcome this “slump.” Ben Kweller (to be referred to as BK from here on) is definitely one of those talented ones and while I will gladly state that On My Way is nowhere near as fun, poppy, and emotional as his debut, Sha Sha; On My Way does have its own rockin’ edge that will prove BK has what it takes to stay at the head of the game.
Songs like “Down,” “Hospital Bed,” and “Ann Disaster” bring out an almost angst style that was characteristic of Radish (a band BK was previously in). “Living Life” reminds us of his singer-songwriter capabilities found onSha Sha in tracks like “Family Tree.” And then there’s “I Need You Back” that has the most perfect non-Beatles, Beatles guitar hook I’ve ever heard. It honestly feels like the background of this track could’ve been found on the cutting room floor at Abbey Road Studios. Other noteworthy tracks include “The Rules” and “On My Way.”
While Sha Sha remains my favorite BK album, On My Way is by no means a bad record. In my opinion, it’s actually one of the better albums I’ve heard this year and I am looking forward to hearing how these songs translate live.