Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Album Review: Ben Harper-Give Till It's Gone

My good buddy and eternal Mr. Stag, the wiseman himself, Zach Weismann comes through with a review of Ben Harper's latest album. I first heard about Ben Harper from Zacho a few years back and asked him to write about his thoughts on Harper's new one. He came through in a major way. Thanks chief. 

Give Till It’s Gone is Ben Harper’s twelfth album and it doesn’t disappoint. Over the last couple of decades, Ben has graced us with music that covers a myriad of genres and music that has included an endless supply of jams. Ben’s music has something for everyone and something for every mood. Whether you are about to burn one down, going through a tough time personally, recently lost a loved one, getting fired up for your next game, cruising the neighborhood, trying to sleep at night, or smooching with a loved one, Ben has the right jam for you.

Since teaming up with Relentless 7, a bunch of random dudes from Austin, Texas who literally begged Ben to demo their tape, Ben has been heading in a slightly different direction. While in years and albums past, he has brought the raucous with reggae, funk, blues, and R&B, he has definitely been finding his way along a bit rockier, alternative sound, albeit not a bad thing. This is not like the old Blind Boys of Alabama days. Yet, this is his second album with a Relentless 7 backing and this time he dropped their name from the album title (probably a smart move).  Give Till It’s Gone definitely has a similar sound to his previous White Lies for Dark Times album, and certainly has some full rock tunes such as Rock N’ Roll is Free and Clearly Severely.

While the music is a bit different, you have to remember this is also a different Ben. In the past 2 years he went through a very difficult divorce, this album being his first production since. And you can tell. Lines such as: “I don’t even know myself, what it would take to know myself, I need to change I don’t know how, don’t give up me now” and “I will not be broken, I will not be turned away, when it’s too cold to breathe and too dark to pray” and “I’m tired of being sick, sick of being tired” clearly show us some of the pain he has experienced lately.

If you are missing “classic” Ben, I encourage you to give this album more than one listen. You get plenty of classic slide guitar solos in “I Will Not Be Broken” and “Get There From Here.”  We also get a splash of funk in “Spilling Faith”, and if the “I Will Not Be Broken” jam doesn’t either give you the chills or motivate you to absolutely give till it’s gone, I don’t know what will.  

Buy Give Till It's Gone here

Ben Harper I Will Not Be Broken

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...