Ben Kweller

Record Review

Texas Platters

Ben Kweller

On My Way (ATO) Since last we met young Ben Kweller, he's toured the world behind his 2002 solo debut, Sha Sha, and collaborated with both Ben Folds and Ben Lee in the Bens. Following his appearance at 2003's Austin City Limits Festival, Kweller recorded On My Way. Much like its predecessor, On My Way wanders stylistically, Kweller racking up musical debts to Weezer (on opener "I Need You Back"), mentor Ben Folds ("Hospital Bed"), and most notably, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, primarily on the confessional title track. Kweller's existential musings on acoustic guitar are charming ("I want to kill this man – I'll kill him with karate that I learned in Japan"), but the conceit is unoriginal. In fact, Kweller's stylistic flirtations are distressing: Is he paying homage to his influences, perhaps too young to have incorporated them into his own aesthetic, or is he just terribly derivative? Lucky for him, it's too soon to tell, but suffice it to say there's no new ground being broken here. Make no mistake: Kweller's an endearing artist, not to mention a talented lyricist, but it appears that he's simply too impressionable and ends up mirroring his influences rather than building upon them. It's a forgivable enough sin, though. Not all music has to change your life; sometimes all it has to do is make you sing along. (Ben Kweller plays Stubb's Wednesday, April 28.)

**.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Melanie Haupt
Desert Door Distillery Rolls Out Large Hand Sanitizer Production
Desert Door Distillery Rolls Out Large Hand Sanitizer Production
Local sotol makers offer the critical commodity free of cost

March 20, 2020

Tibetan Dumplings Shine at Yak & Yeti in Cedar Park
Tibetan Dumplings Shine at Yak & Yeti in Cedar Park
Dishes for sharing (or not) at this tiny Nepalese restaurant

Feb. 14, 2020

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle