Sha Sha

Sha Sha

4.7 14
by Ben Kweller
     
 

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Don't be fooled by Ben Kweller's lazy, low-key vocal delivery: This precocious 20-year-old singer-songwriter is more pop prodigy than slacker. Signed by a major label as a teenager with his first band, Radish, Kweller had an early taste of success before the group disbanded and the Texas native moved to Brooklyn to pursue a solo career. Barely out of his teens,

Overview

Don't be fooled by Ben Kweller's lazy, low-key vocal delivery: This precocious 20-year-old singer-songwriter is more pop prodigy than slacker. Signed by a major label as a teenager with his first band, Radish, Kweller had an early taste of success before the group disbanded and the Texas native moved to Brooklyn to pursue a solo career. Barely out of his teens, Kweller releases the playful, decidedly tuneful Sha Sha, which owes more than a passing debt to indie songsmiths such as Pavement and the Lemonheads but easily transcends mere imitation. It's hard not to think he's commenting on his career's early years with the coy album opener, "How It Should Be (Sha Sha)": Over a bouncy piano riff, he rambles, "When I was a movie star an asteroid had hit the earth and prematurely ended my career." Chunky riffs and shoutable choruses -- hallmarks of Steve Malkmus's irresistible style -- drive "Wasted & Ready," "Walk on Me," and "Harriet's Got a Song," while Kweller's links to NYC's anti-folk scene come to the fore on the spare acoustic number "Lizzy." What gives the album an unexpected depth and maturity are songs such as the piano-driven ballads "In Other Words," which suggests a youthful Ben Folds, and "Make It Up," which betrays Kweller's love for a hummable melody and conjures both the Velvet Underground and Evan Dando. Although he complains on "Commerce, TX" that "My brain is super-fried. It involves pain to look inside," Ben Kweller's glee and satisfaction at music making fills every nook and cranny of Sha Sha.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Denise Sullivan
Enthusiasm is what singer/songwriter Ben Kweller brings to his work. Ramones-like perennial goofy-teenager attitude and lack of antipathy are his golden attributes, and the combination of his keen songwriting sense makes Kweller a pop powerhouse. Following his self-released demo, Freak Out It's Ben Kweller, and the following EP, Kweller spreads out with more pop songs and sounds on this full-length studio album. Underscoring the songwriting skill he's been working at since age eight, he plays acoustic, folk-rock, alternative, power pop, and straight-ahead rock of the course of 11 songs. His lyrics are consistently heart-sung, but they aren't lite -- he's got weight and bite, too. Kweller isn't afraid to wear his top-drawer influences on his sleeve, either: "No Reason" soars on guitar like a Weezer or Frank Black tune, and he sings "noooooo reason to cry" with the same vehemence with which Johnny Rotten once sang "nooooo future." "Commerce, TX" smells like grunge rock, but its commentary on the slacker lifestyle keeps it self-aware. He recuts his epic "In Other Words," a winding, melancholic piano rocker with a jam that is straight off a '70s vintage Elton John record. "Walk on Me" and "How It Should Be (Sha Sha)," though power pop through and through, are pure Kweller -- bright, witty, fun, sweet diaries of hard-to-grapple-with feelings translated into two-to-three-minute bursts of self-empowered joy. Isn't that how all rock & roll should be?

Product Details

Release Date:
03/05/2002
Label:
Ato Records
UPC:
0880882159726
catalogNumber:
21597
Rank:
154866

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Sha Sha 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I went to a Kweller show at the request of friends, ended up buying this CD. I never write reviews, but this CD surely deserves it. If you like Ben Folds Five, Weezer, or Pavement you certainly will dig this CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, let me tell you, 2 months or so ago I only liked R&B and hip-hop, I wouldn't even consider listening to anythink else, then i saw him on last Call with Carson Daly, The next day I immediatly went on line to find out everything I could about Ben. I started listening to his songs online and was amazed, a few weeks later I was able to get his cd and I have not taken it out from my cd player since. IT IS THAT GOOD. Eventually every song will become your favorite, even if there are a few your not sure yet later you will listen again and fall in love. Honestly you will never skip a song they are ALL incredible.Another reviwer said it best when she said that you will have gone through this cd 3 times before you realize it because it that good. In a music industry full of crap nowadays, Ben is the real thing,The guitar licks are incredible i have never air guitared to anything in my life before Ben.The piano songs "in other words" and "fallin" are AMAZING. The folkie "family tree" is so original and beautifully sung. "Wasted&Ready", " Commerce TX","no reason", & "make it up" Are the Rock songs which all bring like the tytest f*ing guitar licks you've ever heard."Walk on me" is such a well written song, the kind of song I wish i could write.Ok you know what? I could go on and on about this cd but I'm just hoping yo've read this and the other reviews and that you will do yourself the favor of getting this cd. Hey, remember I didn't really even like rock till I heard this, if you still don't belive me you can go to www.benkweller.com to listen to the full length versions of some songs.BUY THIS NOW IF NO OTHER CD IN YOUR LIFE,YOU WILL BE SERIOUSLY MISSING OUT.please feel free to email me with any other comments on Ben or anything -peace
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ben Kweller's "Sha Sha" is a moment sealed in time. You remember exactly where you were when you heard each song for the first time. Rarely do you find a CD that you don't want to skip tracks, but you can play "Sha Sha" 3 times through without realizing it. The CD blends harmoniously from track to track, story to story. You're happy, sad, and hyperactive all at the same time. Officially one of my all-tiem favorite albums, BK's "Sha Sha" will become a classic CD to own in years to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is awesome. Best Track: In other Words
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first saw the CD cover of Ben Kweller's "Sha Sha", I thought it was rather amusing and random. But, I heard many good things about him, so I decided to buy it. Once I listened to the CD, I didn't want to take it out of my CD player. The songs are all very catchy, meaningful, and unique. They do very well with combining upbeat, happy songs and serious, but still very addicting, tunes. Between the great guitar riffs and the beautifully sounding piano, Ben shows us what great music sounds like. From the beginning of the title track to the end of "Falling", the band shows their talent and sincerity. Playing live, they're even better. They seriously blow me away. This band gets all the credit they receive plus much more. I know that they will become famous, and if they don't, the music world has no idea what they're passing up. I strongly recommend this CD. If you pass it up, you'll be passing up pure and genuine talent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Twisted meaningfull lyrics and melodic piano playing makes ben kweller one of the gems of today. He shows there is life after teenage rock wonders and at just 20 he reaches higher everyday. Sha sha demonstrates how to rock out on a mean geetar and how to make the world stop and listen with developed piano skills and meaningful lyrics. His individual sound gives him no genre, although he has been said to be among some of the greats in emo, rock, and indie music. He is destined to great things in the near future. This is beautiful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
no need to deny it, the guy's got a knack for writing great songs. the breath of fresh air much needed in the stale, choked music scene. acoustic folk, rock, power pop, piano...it's all great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ben Kweller is a great songwriter and this album proves it. BUY IT NOW!
Guest More than 1 year ago
ben kweller is such a good song writer. hes like a mix of dashboard and rhett but better baby!!... i love him!! i wanna marry him one day.. hes such a cutie, like me!! *wink*
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow. All I can honestly say is wow. I know that music is a very important aspect of my daily life. So finding an amazing artist like Ben Kweller, well, it just makes everything come together. Music is more than just a good beat. It's meaningful lyrics which reach into your heart and dredge up all the emotions you want to let out. That is Ben Kweller. His music, his emotion, his very unique sense of style, it all shows his ability to sing, write, and change the lives of his listeners. On the CD Sha Sha there are many songs to which a head should be bopped. ¿Sha Sha¿ is a perfect example of which. The lyrics are basic and very intune with the entity of the rest of the CD. Other songs like ¿Wasted and Ready¿, ¿Harriet¿s Got A Song¿, ¿No Reason¿, and ¿Make it Up¿ are faster, catchy tunes which makes you want to get up and dance around (only if no one is watching, of course.) The song ¿Lizzy¿ shows such true compassion for BK¿s girlfriend which is expressed through beautiful words. ¿In Other Words¿ also captures the pure essence of deep lyrics and profound music. If you¿re a fan of country-esque type music, then the song ¿Family Tree¿ is for you. And to conclude a wonderful CD, there must always be an exceptionally good song. That song is ¿Falling.¿ The melodic and soothing music found through Ben¿s work has set an extreme precedent for other musicians to follow. His rare ability to fluctuate between loud, upbeat rock and mellow, soft, piano tunes truly shows his individuality as a musician. I highly suggest to anyone to buy his CD now! Go!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard about BK from a friend and I am so glad he told me about it! It's so awesome. It's easy to listen to, and ALL the songs are great! You can't go wrong buying this CD, seriously, I think anyone would love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ben Kweller is certainly talented. This album contains songs with both surreal & at times hilarious lyrics. This album never gets ruined by pace, as every song is different enough, but not too radically.
Guest More than 1 year ago
he's absolutely amazing live. he has great stage presence. he's so down to earth and his lyrics can get anyone bopping their head like it was britney spears on teeny bopper day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago