Ben Harper - Lifeline

Ben Harper has regularly released albums since 1994 Lifeline is his latest. Coming in at just over 40 minutes it's a concise effort. However it never sounds rushed.

His best work tends towards a sultry soulfulness and this is no exception.

Recorded right after his last tour ended the songs have a warmth that come both from his band, The Innocent Criminals, being so tight, and recording to analog tape.

The songs are terrific, but more than that the entire project has a feel. It's comfortable, like an old pair of jeans but continually surprises with musical flourishes.

Guitar riffs, organ grooves and Ben Harper's incredibly pleasing voice are amongst trademark sounds that embellish song after song and give them life.

"In The Colors" and the title track are a couple of the highlights. The penultimate track "Paris Sunrise #7" is an instrumental and rocks with a harder bite than the rest of the album.

The people who influenced Ben Harper shine through his songs sometimes. Listen close and a couple of the songs will recall Marvin Gaye. Still another brings to mind Terence Trent D'Arby. Through it all though, the music is uniquely Ben Harper

Next Sunday morning, brew a pot of coffee, cook some eggs and have some friends over for Brunch. Crank up "Lifeline" while you're at it, everyone will be glad you did.