Music: The Second Time Around

Ben Kweller has rebounded from early--and public--failure. But how far has he come?

There were approximately 12,000 albums released in 2003, and 11,990 of them were made by nice young men with acoustic guitars and perplexing love lives. Maybe that's an overstatement, but with Ryan Adams, John Mayer, Ben Lee, Jason Mraz, Chris Carrabba, Evan Dando, David Gray and countless others, you could easily hold a Lilith Fair stocked with sensitive white guys, though to exhaust the supply, it would have to be performed over several agonizing days, sort of a James Taylor Ring Cycle. There are worse things than a glut of smart songwriters, but you can't help thinking that if a few...

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