Ben Kweller is one of those guys that can write a tune with a melody that just burrows into your head so you'll sing it all day. On his eponymous 2006 effort almost every track was a perfectly crafted pop song.
Like a lot of artists, Kweller feels that to mature he has to turn his hand to other genres. So Changing Horses is aptly named as a turning point. He puts down his electric guitar and trades it for a pedal steel and a measure of suppin' liquor. This is a full blown country affair, brimming with multi-part melodies and twang.
Does it work? At times. 'On Her Own, 'Fight' and 'Sawdust Man' find the winning combination of Kweller's adolescent voice, acoustic guitar and catchy melody. Elsewhere it sounds as if a country band are re-interpreting some of his demos and employing a honkey-tonk man to play over the top.
Kweller found success by brining his indie-pop style with infectious vocals to student dorms. While changing horses is an interesting diversion, it's not where his true talent lies.
Rating - 7/10
Listen to Changing Horses in full for free at Spotify.