Long forgotten Texan, Ben Kweller, has finally released some new music, coming our way this time with a tour EP that you can pick up here. No matter where you find it, its good to have new tunes from this guy.
From his first days in Radish, it seems as if Ben has been trying hard to find his own voice. Sometimes it seems to depend on where he’s living, or who he’s hanging with at the time he’s recording. His last album definitely seemed to have a NYC vibe to it. This time, we find him going, dare I say, Ryan Adams. Although, you can definitely feel the influence of the road on this album, it seems almost as if BK has returned to Texas.
“Fight” is a twangy little number, accompanied by some slide-guitar. Of course, the lyrics are every bit Ben Kweller, using clever rhyming couplets a la Conor Oberst. The end half of the song has a definite honky-tonk feel to it as the piano solo courses through the latter half of the song. It’s strange hearing Ben’s voice on this track.
He continues the country-tinged efforts with “Things I Like to Do.” It’s almost exactly like the first song, at least in instrumentation, but this is the first song when you can clearly make the distinction between Ben Kweller and any other alt-country singer. There’s possibly a little too much slide-guitar on this song, but it’s one of the more warming songs on the EP.
“Sawdust Man” is the only song on this album that just doesn’t fit. It’s ridden by a piano throughout, which definitely makes it seem as if he is trying to pull of a little Dr. Dog. There are several moments when his voice clearly struggles to hit its note, which is really disheartening. For some reason, this some just doesn’t come across the way one would hope. We all make mistakes.
He scores a definite winner, however, with “The Biggest Flower.” This song maintains a little bit of that coutnry sensibility that has been driven into this EP, but at the same time, it brings back the pop element that made Ben Kweller so endearing to us all. This is probably one of the more mature songs hes written, which makes it the stand out track on this EP.
The EP is closed off with “Somehow,” another fine tune. One might describe this as a whiskey song. It seems as if the song is full of longing and loneliness, just judging the feel of the vocals. That’s not surprising considering this is an EP written around Ben’s most recent touring scheduling. It’s a fine close to a pretty decent offering from one of our favorite Texans.
And speaking of that touring schedule, Ben Kweller is coming to Austin on November 2nd. You can buy yourself a set of tickets over at Frontagate Tickets.