CD Review – Ben Harper and the Relentless Seven – White Lies for Black Times
Virgin Records – 6 out of 10Ben Harper’s newest release finds his trademark vocals and Weissenbourn Lap steel guitar playing with a new band – Relentless Seven, more than able replacements for the Innocent Criminals.The album starts with the dirty groove of ‘Number with no name’ and plys the same no-nonsense vocals and musicianship for the albums 11 tracks, which take in a number of genres.
‘Why must you always dress in Black?’ is a song that Robert Randolph could have recorded, whilst ‘Shimmer and Shine’ sounds similar to Lenny Kravitz, whilst a number of slower ballads tackle more serious issues.
‘Skin thin’ features 12 string baritone guitar, and an almost acoustic Pink Floyd type ambience at the beginning, and a typically American pop chorus. The album closer ‘Faithfully remain’ is a gentle ballad about love and time.
‘Keep it together (So I can fall apart)’ is a Wah Wah drenched song which at times threatens to become Led Zeppelin, whilst ‘Boots like these’ features a Bo Diddley beat under more modern production techniques.This is a good album, with much to please music fans, but it perhaps strays into too many different genres to properly work as a cohesive whole.