Ben Harper And Relentless 7 White Lies For Dark Times

Whether one is a fan of Ben Harper or not his ability to alter his sound with nearly every album has to be admired. Following '07s Lifeline, on which he fully embraced his inner-California singer-songwriter, White Lies For Dark Times finds Harper ditching his long-time band, the Innocent Criminals, in favour of a new hard rocking trio that have reignited the fire in Harper's trademark slide guitar playing. This will surely be welcome news for fans of Harper's early work, even though White Lies retains a balanced sound throughout, often reminiscent of vintage '70s Rolling Stones. Granted, Harper has always worn his classic rock influences on his sleeve but his saving grace has always been a lyrical approach that's never less than genuine. This is what ultimately raises White Lies above what could have been merely a hard rock caricature in the hands of someone like Lenny Kravitz or Kid Rock. While it's still not the definitive statement Harper has yet to make at least it shows that he's still trying. (Virgin/EMI)