If Ben Kweller was a member of "Our Gang," Follies 2006 would be the best one yet. And that's without monkeys in bustles or prepubescent hula girls. After all, Kweller's floppy-haired look has been a selling point since he was a kid himself. But though his latest album has all the endearing cadence and chemistry of a group of ramshackle rascals, something's different this time. He's growing up. And as the wunderkind matures, it becomes harder to ignore that what Kweller isn't turns out to be just as important as what he is. He plays all the instruments here, and though his lyrical themes are simple and bright-eyed, Kweller isn't obsessed with his own talent or emotions. And unlike many epicene stars on the pop charts, Kweller's boyish vocals happen naturally. From "Run," the Welcome to Asbury Park-inspired opening track, to the chorus-less piano romp "Thirteen" (a love note to his new wife), Kweller's lighthearted take on life and the universe is completely honest. Elsewhere, "Nothing Happening" has all the orchestral maneuvers of Wings-era McCartney, and "Red Eye," while sans twang, is still great alt-country. Kid's growing up, alright and his abilities are all elevated here.
Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.