Ben Kweller, 'Ben Kweller' (ATO)

8
Ben Kweller
Critical Mass
Label: ATO

by David Marchese

With his third solo album, Ben Kweller serves up the mini-classic of ultramelodic singer/songwriter pop that he's always hinted at, placing giddy wall-of-sound rockers ("Run" and "Penny on the Train Track") alongside soul-kissed weepers ("Red Eye") with skillful aplomb. If this record had been released, say, 35 years ago, when charmingly personal piano ballads and well-crafted folk-rock arrangements were money, Kweller might've been a huge star.

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