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Ben Harper - 'Get Up!'

by AlexJackson
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on 27 January 2013 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Decca
Rating 7/10

The opening four songs on Ben Harper’s 12th studio album accentuate a musician at the top of his game. Teaming up with long-time friend and legendary blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite seems a wise choice, as Harper’s mix of blistering blues, gospel, roots and traditional R&B sounds as fresh and as vital as ever. Opener ‘Don’t Think Twice’ charts the politics of personal destruction, while ‘I’m In, I’m Out, I’m Gone’ swaggers along at a surging pace with all the stomp, rattle and roll blues we’ve become used to since he first arrived in the public domain almost two decades ago. ‘We Can’t End This Way’ is traditional gospel and an album highlight, while ‘I Don’t Believe (A Word You Say)’ shows off his slide guitar skills to create one monstrous riff. The pace does finally relent by the time we get to the lovely contemplative ‘Found Another Lover’. The exemplary harmonica playing by Musselwhite adds another dimension to Harper’s soulful music with the playful funk of ‘She Got A Kick’ and the expressive waltz of ‘All That Matters Now’. His first record since 2011’s ‘Give Till It’s Gone’ is a true joy from a supreme talent in full creative command. It is an inspired work and in the rollicking social commentary of ‘Blood Side Out’, he has created one of his finest songs of recent years.


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