On a series of early-2000s albums, Ben Kweller established himself as a versatile, lyrically clever power-pop whiz kid. But now he's 30, and mere talented craftsmanship will no longer do. So on his first album since 2009's alt-country detour, Changing Horses, he hones his best Cars, Harry Nilsson and Wilco moves into a personally revealing breakup record. "I slept with the mistress/I read from the Bible/It gave me revival," he sings on "Time Will Save the Day," setting Dylanesque lyrics to Weezer-ian tuneage. It's an ode to seasoned wisdom from a guy who's done being a prodigy.
Listen to "Mean to Me":
• Photos: Random Notes