It's strange to think that at 30 years old, Ben Kweller has spent over half of his life professionally crafting pop songs, and while it's rare for someone to be both relatively young and a grizzled pop veteran, it's precisely this combination of youth and experience that the singer/songwriter calls upon on his fifth solo album, Go Fly a Kite. With a sugary mix of youthful exuberance and practiced craftsmanship, Kweller delivers a group of songs that cover the pop spectrum, drifting from the fuzzy, driving power pop of the album-opener "Mean to Me," to the lonely pedal steel of the alt-country-inflected "I Miss You." This willingness to explore different sounds paints a picture of a songwriter who, even with a wealth of experience under his belt, isn't willing to settle into one sound quite yet. This idea is taken a step further when the listener digs into the liner notes to find the detailed notes on how to play each song along with the lyrics. Moves like that speak to a kind of openness, as if the songwriter is not only giving his fans the songs to listen to, but to also re-create on their own. This kind of candor makes Go Fly a Kite a refreshing album on a number of levels, as it delivers the goods with its collection of summery jams while keeping nothing, not even the chord progressions, secret.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney