January 6th, 2012
Title: Give Till It’s Gone
Artist: Ben Harper
Label: Virgin Records
Formats: CD, LP, MP3
Release Date: May 17, 2011
Give Till Its Gone is summer festival sweetheart Ben Harper’s tenth studio release, and while stylistically inconsistent—tracks’ tones wander from Hendrix to Bloc Party to Cream—the album affirms Harper’s fortitude and natural talent as both a musician and vocalist. The problems with this album lie in the fact that, though this radio-friendly rock is somewhat of a turn for Harper, it’s nothing new for anyone else.
Give’s strong points come when Harper sticks to the basics, as he does in the album’s opening track, “Don’t Give Up on Me Now.” Simple and lacking the over-styling that affects a few of the other songs, this track—in addition to the contemplative “I Will Not Be Broken” and “Pray That Our Love Sees the Dawn”—carries the album.
Following is the official video for “Don’t Give Up on Me Now”:
If for nothing else, though, Give is worth a listen for its celebrity appearances. Ringo Starr co-wrote and played the drums in “Spilling Faith” and “Get There from Here,” and the aforementioned “Pray That Our Love Sees the Dawn” features singer-songwriter Jackson Browne.
Despite its problems, Give is passionate, well-wrought music. It probably won’t be topping any “Year’s Best” lists, but it’s solid, and it’s a welcome addition to the discography of an artist who’s won Grammys for both “Best Pop Instrumental Performance” and “Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album,” meeting Harper’s two extremes somewhere in the middle.
Review by Hannah Davis
Review Genre(s): Popular, Rock, and Misc.