12 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since the start of his career, Ben Harper has aimed to make music that transcends time and place. He wants little to do with pop music; he'd rather write from the soul. After meeting harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite at a 1997 John Lee Hooker session, Harper kept in touch. The two have worked together when possible, leading to this album: a perfect marriage of sounds and passions. "Don't Look Twice" opens with just acoustic guitar, harmonica, and voice, yet it sounds so full that when the band crashes in for the first chorus it comes as a complete shock. The handclaps emphasize the joyful musical setting behind the gospel-blues and sadness of "We Can't End This Way." Musselwhite cranks up an electrified harmonica to keep pace with the hard-rocking "I Don't Believe a Word You Say." This is essentially Harper's platform; he wrote the songs and controls the pace. Yet Musselwhite keeps things rooted with his bluesy playing. Together for "You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend)," they play as two musical friends sharing a moment of truth.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since the start of his career, Ben Harper has aimed to make music that transcends time and place. He wants little to do with pop music; he'd rather write from the soul. After meeting harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite at a 1997 John Lee Hooker session, Harper kept in touch. The two have worked together when possible, leading to this album: a perfect marriage of sounds and passions. "Don't Look Twice" opens with just acoustic guitar, harmonica, and voice, yet it sounds so full that when the band crashes in for the first chorus it comes as a complete shock. The handclaps emphasize the joyful musical setting behind the gospel-blues and sadness of "We Can't End This Way." Musselwhite cranks up an electrified harmonica to keep pace with the hard-rocking "I Don't Believe a Word You Say." This is essentially Harper's platform; he wrote the songs and controls the pace. Yet Musselwhite keeps things rooted with his bluesy playing. Together for "You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend)," they play as two musical friends sharing a moment of truth.

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