382. Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals – “Live from Mars”

You can’t say I’m not an open-minded man/glutton for punishment, as we own multiple Ben Harper CDs.

This double live set was a gift for my wife that she may or may not have greatly appreciated.

As you may be able to see from the cover, Harper performs to large crowds of people with their hands constantly raised in sheer joy (or something like that).  All credit to him, he never once asks them to do so on this disc (thus lifting the albumn above several Michael Franti live recordings I’ve heard, and every Franti show I’ve ever seen).

My main gripe with the earlier album was the rather low-key, mundane pacing etc.  Harper has heard my complaints, and for the first disc here rocks it out all electric style.  This is the better side of his personalities, as he channels a bit of Zep (quite explicitly on a Whole Lotta Love cover, and almost as blatantly on Woman in You).  Other tracks could easily fit into a Black Crowes set.

His guitar work is worth hearing, his vocals less cloying. He handles covers pretty impressively, although he, like most, can’t out Marvin Marvin Gaye on Sexual Healing.

The acoustic set sits quite well alongside the electric brethren, as I’ve sort of worked myself into the whole Harper schtick by then.

File under: Neither intergalactic nor planetary


One response to “382. Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals – “Live from Mars”

  1. I haven’t listened to this entire album yet. The only song I’ve listened to is Number Three, which I play acoustically play on the guitar. I’ll have to go listen to his electric side because I’ve listened to other Ben Harper and they’ve all been acoustics. I’ll see how this guy can rock.

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