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Lifeline by Ben Harper
Released: Aug 2007
Label: Virgin Records
Ben Harper's Both Sides of the Gun was vigorous, guitar-powered and boldly political. On Lifeline, he switches his stance from socially-conscious to self-conscious, plastering his heart on his sleeve with less rock and more soul. Backing jam band the Innocent Criminals are natural complements to whatever direction Harper tilts, whether it be a bluesy slow-burner, a lonely lilting lullaby or a feel-good paean to the simplest of pleasures. He may yearn to be "Younger Than Today," but with this LP, Harper proves to be aging well.
Stephanie Benson