Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals - Lifeline Album Review
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
  • 3/5
Reviewed by STAFF

7 Days In Paris

Ben Harpers’s eighth studio album, “Lifeline” was recorded in Paris with his band, The Innocent Criminals -- guitarist Michael Ward, bassist Juan Nelson, keyboard player Jason Yates, drummer Oliver Charles and percussionist Leon Mobley, after coming off a nine month tour.

It was recorded and mixed in 7 days on a 16 track analog tape machine. There were no computers or pro-tools used anywhere in the recording process. The bare-bones production style of Lifeline is practically experimental by today's standards, and it's a testament to Harper that he and his band could record a stellar album using outdated technology in a fraction the time it took to create most of the albums currently on Billboard's Top 40.

Lifeline is a beautifully composed take on gospel-influenced rock, featuring his most spiritual singing since 2004's Grammy-winning collaboration with the Blind Boys of Alabama. But his finest moment comes on the instrumental "Paris Sunrise #7," which starts with a sparse ripple of slide guitar and builds into a lush visual sonnet.

1. Fight Outta You
2. In the Colors
3. Fool For a Lonesome Train
4. Needed You Tonight
5. Having Wings
6. Say You Will
7. Younger Than Today
8. Put It On Me
9. Heart Of Matters
10. Paris Sunrise #7
11. Lifeline

All in all I really enjoyed this record but I don’t think it contains any nuggets of the caliber that you’ve grown accustomed to on some of Ben’s past albums. It’s a good album from one of the great true artists of our time. Do yourself a favor and check out Ben live!


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