- Audio CD (19 April 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Hand Me Down
- ASIN: B0001P2JY4
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,321 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
On My Way
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At the ripe old age of 22, Ben Kweller has completed his second album, On My Way, with Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon, Ryan Adams) at the production helm. The new album fearlessly continues Ben's tradition of embracing pop, rock, punk and ballads with a leaner, but certainly not meaner, attitude.
The release of Ben Kweller's second album, On My Way, finds the American singer-songwriter reaching the ripe old age of 22. Still, though, you've got to give him credit for doing his homework. On My Way is very much an American-sounding album, following in the DIY footsteps of other American indie artists such as the Violent Femmes (heard especially in the Gordon-Gano-influenced whiney waver in Kweller's singing voice) and Elliott Smith (though a much less morose version). And he even finds himself borrowing a bit from more mainstream American icons: The piano intro of "Living Life" could easily have originated with Billy Joel. But don't expect Kweller to be filling any stadiums in the near future.
On My Way is a lovely little album, full of sweetness and an endearing naivity. It's just unfortunate that the whole effect, spread out over 11 tracks, is a bit inconsequential. The songs are sung with an earnestness that doesn't quite suit their lack of substance. But Kweller's still young, and based on what's on offer here, the boy's still got potential. --Robert Burrow
Top customer reviews
Highlights on 2004's 'On My Way' include the infectious opening track 'I Need You Back', 'My Apartment', a song that anyone who has ever felt very low and reclusive can surly relate to, the acoustic, lovely, and darkly humorous 'On My Way', and the optimistic 'Living Life', which has lyrics that anyone who is feeling 'on the up' after a heart time should take with them.
I discovered Ben Kweller through this album, which I bought on an impulse, and I'm not sorry that I did. This is truthful and sincere music from an all-around musician, who deserved to hit greater heights. 'On My Way' is fairly typical of indie albums that male singer-songwriters were delivering at the time. On this record, Ben reminds me a lot of the late Matthew Jay, and Elliott Smith, and that's a great compliment to him, as I still enjoy their music enormously.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I don't see this record as such a massive departure for Kweller, either. Someone likened him to Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. The comparison holds up, but I don't see it as negative as Cuomo summarily gave up writing emotional, heart-felt pop songs, to pure, formulaic, polished diddys. In essence, Kweller fills the gap Cuomo left by turning commercial.
"On My Way" is certainly more sparse than Kweller's first album. Things start out well and good with "I Need You Back" and "Hospital Bed." Kweller turns a bit more introspective in "My Apartment." Then the record begins to fall flat as we reach the title track, "On My Way." Without a melody and singing lyrics that seem well out of Kweller's own experience, "On My Way" lacks the same genuine honesty as its precursor, "My Apartment."
A few more tracks help to salvage the album-- including "Down" and "Believer." "Living Life" seems like a dishonest hold-over from Sha Sha, and it shows. "Ann Disaster" is probably the worst song that Kweller has written-- or, at least, released.
More than half the album is vintage Kweller and worth owning, but buyers should be ware that "On My Way" is not the pop masterpiece, from start to finish, that Kweller fans would expect after his debut "Sha Sha."
Kweller's pipes are thin and whiney, but sounds almost cute in the context of the self-deprication that fills his lyrics, and his band completely rocks out in the backing tracks.
Every track is catchy, and the sparse production allows this thing to feel like a simply-recorded 4-track hometape (although with none of the scratchyness that would come with such a recording).
No pretention, no rock-stadium ethos, no let down.