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Welcome to the Cruel World

Ben Harper

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Album Review

The full range of Ben Harper's influences would not come to bear until later albums, but his debut, Welcome to the Cruel World, lays a strong foundation. "Like a King" and "Take That Attitude to Your Grave" burn with a political conviction rarely heard during the 1990s. "Forever" has a tenderness which demonstrates Harper's emotional range. Lackluster hippie jams that cultivated his early following may have served a purpose but feel fluffy by comparison when compared to the meatier tracks. Ben closes the album with a song that frequently closes his concerts, "I'll Rise." This song, built around Maya Angelou's 1979 poem "And Still I Rise," reminds one of art's ability to pierce through society, self, and the soul.

Customer Reviews

My favorite of his

Ben Harper has had one of the most amazing careers in music history ever. I honestly can’t name an album from him I don’t like. But there is something about this album holds a special place in my heart over any of his other works. I strongly recommend it to anybody who loves folk and soul music. This album makes this cruel world a step closer to be better world.

Biography

Born: October 28, 1969 in Claremont, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining funky, groove-laden soul with handcrafted acoustic folk-rock, Ben Harper enjoyed cult status during the course of the '90s before gaining wider attention toward the decade's end. As a young artist, he drew his influences from classic singer/songwriters, blues revivalists, guitar slingers, and jam bands like Blues Traveler and Phish, which meant he was embraced by critics and college kids alike. Despite finding commercial success with the radio single "Steal My Kisses" in 2000, Harper continued...
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Welcome to the Cruel World, Ben Harper
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