Ben Kweller
Sha Sha



by iarescientists USER (28 Reviews)
June 28th, 2006 | 16 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Ben Kweller is a master of instruments. He learned the drums from his dad at age 7, he had written his first song on the piano by 9, and at 11 he got his first guitar. Also, by 19, when he began his solo career, he had already released four albums and toured across America and Europe with his band Radish. Needless to say, Kweller had been around long enough and was experienced enough (even before most people go to college) to know how to write a catchy, witty, pop tune. And that�s what you get with most of Sha Sha, catchy hooks and witty lyrics.

�How It Should Be (Sha Sha)� starts off with an awkward piano beat, shortly followed by a slow, walking bass line, then later, another awkward drum beat joins in. The music in the song is quirky, yet extremely catchy. Then when you don�t think the song could get any weirder, the lyrics come in �when I was a movie star, an asteroid had hit the earth and prematurely ended my career.� But as I said earlier, you can�t help but fall in love with the song and be heartbroken and asking for more when it ends clocking in at 1:42. 5/5

�Wasted & Ready� starts off quiet with the first verse, but then jumps at you as it transitions into the raunchy chorus �She goes above and beyond her call of duty/She is a slut but X thinks it's sexy/Sex reminds her of eating spaghetti/I am wasted but I'm ready.� The transition between the quiet verses and rocking choruses keep the song entertaining throughout and one of my favorite songs on the album. 5/5

�Family Tree� is played on an acoustic guitar with an entertaining bass line and some easy drums. The lyrics are pretty strong and seem to be about how much he needs his girlfriend or maybe just a friend so that they are like family. However, the music gets a little tedious. 3/5

�Commerce, TX� was the first song I heard from Kweller and I happened to like it a lot, but after listening to the rest of his catalog, it�s fallen off for me. It�s got a pretty cool riff, but it gets a little repetitive. The song is basically about slacking off and doing nothing all day. In fact, it�s my favorite slacker song ever, behind of course Longview by Green Day. 4/5

�In Other Words� is a beautiful piano-driven song about teenage suicide. The piano is dark and beautiful and with most of the songs on the album the bass is pretty interesting to listen to. At about 3:30 in the song, it begins to slow down with Kweller repeating �It starts stopping when it stops stopping� until the piano starts to speed up and we get a hyper, triumphant ending. 4.5/5

�Walk on Me� is my least favorite song on the album. The beat is a little corny, and so are the lyrics. �If I was in your shoes I wouldn't walk all over you so please don't walk all over me�. The highlight of the song is the bass fills. 2/5

Luckily, this is followed by �Make It Up� my third favorite track. There is a quiet opening until Ben starts strumming loudly and starts to palm-mute for the verses. It sounds like it�s played on an acoustic, but there is feedback all throughout the song, which happens to make it my third favorite song, because of the feedback charm. There are no drums or bass in this song, just Ben, his guitar and plenty of feedback. The lyrics aren�t really that good, but they are charming: �I need a good luck charm, to give me good luck/I need a good alarm, to wake me up/Obi Wan and Yoda will keep me safe/They�ll put that smile back on my face�. 4.5/5

�No Reason� is another of my favorite songs. It makes you feel pretty upbeat and happy about life as Kweller sings �There�s no reason to cry� as he also describes all the great things about life. And finally, near the end, there are some memorable drums to make all the drummers listening happy. And I guess as a consequence, there�s no outstanding bass in this. 4/5

�Lizzy� is a song I�m assuming dedicated to his girlfriend at the time, and now wife and mother of his child, Liz Smith. The guitar intro at the beginning is pretty catchy, and we hear it again. It�s a nice song with some lyrics that can apply to any celebrity �like mama said, dontcha let it go to your head� and it also tells about his desire to be with her when he�s on the road. Musically, besides the intro, there is not too much special here. 3.5/5

�Harriet�s Got a Song� starts off slow but then it kicks in with the full band and some interesting guitar fills. During the chorus, there�s some catchy xylophone backed up by chords on the guitar and then the drums come in for a little bit, but nothing special. The bridge is pretty exciting, with some exciting guitar work followed by a slide. Then once again it slows down with some nice riffs. One more time it speeds back up and then slows down again, until it is finally over. The transitions in the song from slow to fast make it very exciting and another one the stronger songs on the album. 5/5

�Falling� is the final song, and a very piano-driven piece. Kweller sings pretty softly throughout the song. A couple of times throughout the song you hear a pretty entertaining descending bass line and the drums are better than on the rest of the album with some nice fills towards the end. 4/5

-very entertaining bass
-songs like �In Other Words� have very positive messages
-has a very charming, �weirdness� to it

-could use some more exciting drums
-�Walk on Me�

This is a great listen to any indie fan. It can make you feel upbeat when you�re down, and it�s got some great, witty lyrics, and has just got that weird charm to it that makes it irresistible. I, at the least, recommend a listen to a couple songs to anyone who likes music at all. Overall, I give it a 4/5

Recommended Tracks
-How It Should Be (Sha Sha)
-Wasted & Ready
-Make It Up

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 28th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, so this is my first review, but I'm a big boy, so if there are any big problems, feel free to point them out and make fun of me if you want.

June 28th 2006


You did a good job on your first review, props.

The Jungler
June 28th 2006


Kweller's cool. I like that cover art.

EDIT: Good job on the first review too.This Message Edited On 06.28.06

Little Man being Erased
June 28th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album. Well done on your first review as well.

June 28th 2006


Very good first review! I am interested in this album now

June 28th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for all the positive feedback

June 29th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

I liked Sha Sha the first time I listened to it, and I even went out and bought a copy for the girl I was in love with. Actually, I had first heard about Ben Kweller from a girl I used to have a crush on before I met this other girl. Anyway, this other girl told me it was boring and it broke my heart, which made me listen to it even more. I really liked a couple of the songs, like "Family Tree" and "Falling" (probably my favorite album off that track).

It's too bad he had to go and write On My Way or whatever it was called. He could've done some mighty fine things.

Cygnus Inter Anates
June 30th 2006


He's on the Lollapalooza lineup, isn't he?

June 30th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, apparantly he's a new addition.

I really want to go to Lollapalooza, anybody want to bring me?

August 14th 2006


i already went to lollapalooza sorry. Kweller Ruled. I'm seeing him again in October

Activista anti-MTV
October 12th 2006


I think I will have a look at this.

October 12th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty good album, but no need to trash the drums, or compare Kweller to We Are Scientists.

October 12th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

^ I don't think I really trashed the drums, all I really said was that nothing really stood out drum-wise.

I recommended WAS because I couldn't really think of albums close to this I've listened to before. I feel that WAS has got some similar (though some different subjects) upbeat lyrics and catchy hooks and all that.

December 4th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

I love "Sha Sha". In fact I chose to do my own album review for a school project, and these facts have given me some help on what I should say. My favorite has to be Falling or How It Should Be (Sha Sha). But what can I say I love them all except Lizzy which is about his present wife, but its an amazing CD, and everyone should check it out!This Message Edited On 12.04.06

January 7th 2010


"I am wasted but im ready..."

still a great song...

December 13th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Jamming this at work. Forgot how much I love this album. Bumped it up to a 4.5.

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