Ben Harper, 'Give Till It's Gone' (Virgin)

6
Give Till It's Gone
Critical Mass
Release Date: May 17, 2011
Label: Virgin

by Mikael Wood

Last year, Harper hooked up with George Harrison's son Dhani (plus Joseph Arthur) for a new hippie-harmony trio called Fistful of Mercy, and here he extends the Beatlemania by inviting Ringo Starr to drum on a pair of cuts, including the appealingly fuzz-funky "Spilling Faith." Further boomer bait crops up in "Pray That Our Love Sees the Dawn," with pass-the-bowl guest vocals from Jackson Browne. But Harper sounds most engaged on the disc's loudest, least melodic cuts: "Clearly Severely" is a furious, TV on the Radio–style soul-punk blast.

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