1st Thoughts On iTunes Preview of Give Till It's Gone...??

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1st Thoughts On iTunes Preview of Give Till It's Gone...??

Post  MCTolen on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:02 am

OK, I know its probably bad to listen to 1 min 30 sec previews of an album and start making early conclusions, but I can't help it! I will always reserve judgment until I properly hear the whole album in one setting a few times, but here goes...

1st Thoughts: Sounds kinda heavy on the midtempo and slower songs especially at the first of the album, which is a bit disappointing given the raw energy on the last album. It seems to pick up more and get more interesting into the 2nd half. I'm noticing less of the traditional hard rock blues and instead more of a modern rock sound on many tracks with odd tempos not really heard by Ben Harper before.

Track by Track
1. Don't give up on me now - A solid track, melodic, but a bit of let down to kick off the album

2. I Will Not Be Broken - Most of us have heard this one before. It definitely doesn't lend itself to be previewed since I know Ben CRUSHES it on the slide guitar later in the song. Still, the placement as the 2nd song seems odd since I'm still waiting for them to kick it into high gear before we hit the slow burners

3. Rock N Roll is Free - Again nothing new to most of us with the live version. This song is probably the most akin to the sound on the last album, but with a psychadelic tinge in the studio version. It sounds good and kicks the album in high gear with a straight on rocker.

4. Feel Love - Nice, but possibly a bit sappy and dull. Maybe a bit overproduced sounding. I see myself skipping it regularly after a few listens.

5. Clearly Severely -This is one that sounds more modern rock to me. Kinda Foo Fighters-ish or Kings of Leon-ish. I like it, it's interesting and I want to hear more.

6. Spilling Faith - Guessing this is the one with Ringo on it, given the Strawberry Fields obvious Beatle's sound to it. It could be a Beatles tribute song, but who cares it sounds cool as hell!

7. Get There From Here - Clearly a continuing jam of Spilling Faith (again in Strawberry Fields fade out style??) I'm guessing the record execs said Spilling Faith needed to be trimmed down so loose the jam to make it a possible single, so that's how we got two songs outta it.

8. Pray that our love sees the dawn - has a nice rolling sound to it. A good song for a long road. Again, I think it has a more modern rock tempo and sound to it.

9. Waiting on a Sign - Classic Ben Harper eclecticism with funk and classic rock rolled into one. You'd swear you've heard this song before, but just can't put your finger on it. I dig it!!

10. Dirty Little Lover - Great bluesy rocker, with a modern rock twist

11. Do it for you, Do it for us - This is a FACE MELTER!! Ben screaming out his passion with some wicked riffs. I was expecting a slow ballad as a closer given the title. I can't wait to crank this one up!!

Overall, I see this album as a real grower. I don't think it will have the immediacy of the last album and I miss the raw energy. This one sounds a bit overproduced on some tracks, but on others I like the effects, vibe and additional overdubbed guitars added to the canvas. In one sense I'm a little disappointed, but yet in another I'm very excited to hear more. Ben's never made the same album twice, always changing and staying two steps ahead. Looks like he's done it again.

What do you all think so far????

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Re: 1st Thoughts On iTunes Preview of Give Till It's Gone...??

Post  Peter on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:46 am

Thats a real good review, might do my own at some point but I think I should really wait till I hear the whole thing. Actually, we should do this sorta thing with the old albums at some point, it's a great way to revisit them.

For now all I'll say is i'm actually a little disappointed. It feels like it's going to be a lot like the first R7 album which I listened to a whole bunch for a few months and then never really returned to. However a few songs really do sound interesting. That instrumental sounds amazing. The song with Jackson Brown is really nice and of course I will not be broken is pretty special. I hope it's a grower.

On a side note: can anyone remember reading something a little while back about a new DVD being released of the mod club show (Canada from memory?), solo acoustic with Michael Ward? I hope that sees the light of day soon. Loved that show!
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Re: 1st Thoughts On iTunes Preview of Give Till It's Gone...??

Post  MOJO the Moderator on Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:17 pm

I am EXTREMELY EXCITED!!!

I wanted to avoid the preview clips and wait until I could hear each song in it's entirety... but I am weak-willed when it comes to new Ben!

I think this is the album I've been waiting for!!!! It has everything! Rock, blues, funk, acoustic, instrumentals, power, grace, and those harmonies I mentioned I was hoping for way back when. I can't wait to hear the full songs and lyrics!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: 1st Thoughts On iTunes Preview of Give Till It's Gone...??

Post  MCTolen on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Yeah, I'm weak willed too, but I'm glad I did. The more I've even listened to the previews the more excited I get. It probably is a truer Ben Harper release than an R7 release, maybe that was the reason its billed as a solo album. Given Ben's possibly pending divorce from Laura Dern and song titles like "Pray that our love see's the dawn," "Do it for you, do it for us" and "Don't give up on me know" you gotta think this is a very personal album. Then again Ben generally denies that he writes personal songs. I am still craving some new reggae style songs from Ben in a big way. I wonder if the summer tours will dig into the back catalog or stick to the last two albums. Either way, can't wait to hear many of these live!!

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