By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Sha Sha is aptly titled. Here are some sample lyrics, not all from the same song:
Sha Sha. Sha doo.
Ooh ooh ooh ooh oooh ah ah ah
Do do do do
Ba ba ba ba ba.
There are also lyrics with actual dictionary words, but as in most pop songs their meaning comes in spurts, half-heard and shaped largely by the music. “Butterflies are passive-aggressive,” sings BK, “and put their problems on the shelfBut they’re so beautiful.” I don‘t know what that means, if it means anything, but it scans well and is set to a lovely melody and delivered with unshowy conviction, and I can’t get it out of my head.
Kweller is not out to conquer the world, or to remake music from the ground up, or to make the record Brian Wilson almost did but couldn‘t. He just wants to make you feel like he feels. There are bits of things you already know: the loud-soft dynamic, low-string open chords and “Louie Louie” riffing that are Nirvana’s gift to the ages, mixed with classic ‘70s Cal-rock harmonies, some elementary Elton, some of the earnest yearning one hears in the voice of Alex Chilton. (Direct references to the Beatles are surprisingly few.) People who have listened to more Ben Folds than I have compare him to Ben Folds, and people who have listened to more Weezer than I have compare him to Weezer, but I won’t. His songs, though they take some interesting sudden turns, don‘t choke on cleverness; the arrangements are not cluttered with obvious marks of genius. It all comes down to the “Let’s go!” spirit, which he has in spades. Sha Sha is a pretty happy record, even when it pretends, temporarily, to be sad. But BK is a pretty happy guy.
“Everything in my life has pretty much happened five years ahead of most people, and I had so many experiences from the time I was 15 to now,” says Kweller, “and I‘ve had so much time to write, and write bad songs and good songs -- that’s the big thing, I‘ve had a lot of time to practice writing, and so now I feel that when I go onstage I’m truly happy with every word I‘m saying and every chord I’m playing and I feel like it really represents me completely.” Life for BK “is just one big constant evolution.” The age he is now is “a good age to be. It‘s young,” he says, “but it’s older than 15.”
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