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Both Sides of the Gun [Digipak]


Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Ben Harper (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, keyboards, vibraphone, drums, percussion); Ben Harper (bass guitar); Michael Ward (guitar, 12-string guitar, background vocals); Jason Mozersky, Danny Kalb, Marc Ford (guitar); Jan Ghazi (electric guitar, background vocals); Patrick Rosalez (violin); Greg Kurstin (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); David Palmer (keyboards); Matt Cory (bass instrument); Oliver Francis Charles (drums, background vocals); Jordan Richardson, Jose Medeles, Jean Pierre Plunier (drums); Michelle Griepentrog, Sue Chase, Nick Sandro, Jennifer Ohrstrom, Natasha Cockrell, Scott Thomas, Charlie Musselwhite (background vocals); David Lindley (tamboura); Joel Pargman, Alyssa Park (violin); Brett Banducci (viola); Timothy Loo (cello); Jason Yates (keyboards, background vocals); Leon Mobley (percussion, background vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Danny Kalb.
  • Recording information: The Boat Studios, Silverlake, CA.
  • Photographer: Michael Halsband.
  • With the two-disc BOTH SIDES OF THE GUN, singer/songwriter Ben Harper appears hell-bent to play havoc with listeners' expectations. For those who thought blues-rock was a relic of the 1970s, abandoned to rot amid worn-out Foghat riffs, Harper presents a compelling argument to the contrary on the set's first disc. Instead of jacking up traditional blues forms in a clich?d way, though, Harper applies a blues sensibility to the rock vocabulary, coming up with something that feels new in the process. The emotive howl of his vocals and the from-the-gut moans of his guitar bespeak a musician schooled in Zeppelin and Hendrix but ultimately closer to Jeff Buckley at his most frenetic. The raw, gritty production lends an appropriately in-your-face quality as well.
  • The second disc further messes with one's preconceptions. It's a quiet, acoustic-oriented affair wherein Harper seems to channel vintage Cat Stevens. In fact, there are spots where his singing sounds eerily similar to that of the British folk-rocker. Where the first disc's songs feel full of anger and social consciousness, the vulnerable ballads occupying the second are largely wistful and romantic, operating on a more personal scale. As different as they are, BOTH SIDES OF THE GUN are just as formidable in Harper's hands.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (pp.61-62) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Harper is a natural-born superstar who has operated in the pop universe his way....He is, for all his flash, just Ben, a gifted singer, songwriter and guitarist bent on seeking transcendence in everyday places."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] robust rockers and acoustic romancers...CD1 is full of rip and roar about the evils and moral ambiguities of the times."
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