Ben Harper is one of the most inspirational people I follow on a regular basis. His discography spans back to 1992, with Pleasure and Pain (one hell of a record I must add). In 2006 he came out with Both Sides of the Gun. It was a solo show, which means without his standing band The Innocent Criminals. No problem.
The album starts off somber with Morning Yearning. A great track that feels like you should be listening to it on a train as it rolls through the French countryside. Waiting For You keeps the same pace. In fact, the whole album does. It’s graceful. Some points (songs) you just go through tunnels, or over bridges that get your heart beating faster.
The smooth pace, the perfect progression of chords, it’s all a part of the emotion so prevalent in any Ben Harper album. I think this is what draws me to him.
The peaceful number Sweet Nothing Serenade seems to me to be an intermission song. “This is intermission, you may now walk around and stretch your legs, feel free to hug your neighbor, hum a tune, smell a flower, enjoy yourself!”
Reason to Mourn makes me cry sometimes. Thinking about it, it seems to me that I have a special moment connected to each of his albums, and this album is no exception. Just such a great album.
It’s not all slow heart felt journeys though, its a perfect mix. A humble understanding. Crying Won’t Help You Now is really something I’d expect from Ben, it’s somewhat cynical but I like to believe it’s just a lesson that he’s trying to share with us.
The second half of the album is much more upbeat than the first half. I love Better Way. It has a sitar I believe, some tablas, and a really authentic feel to it. It’s a great way to be.
Gather ‘Round The Stone really feels like blues to me. It’s got roots, boogy, soul, oppression, sacrifice, all bottled up into one ditty.
So basically what I’m trying to say is get your hands on Both Sides of the Gun. Do you already have it? It has been out for 5 years now.. How do you like it?
Ben Harper is releasing his latest album Give Till It’s Gone pretty damn quick. Pre-orders are already up on his site. Have you bought yours? How do you like that one? I can’t wait to get my hands on it!