Harping On His Best

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The best-selling author Marcus Buckingham has made a career out of telling people they should work from their strengths—figure out what you are good at and work hard to spend most of your time doing those things.

While I doubt Ben Harper or any of his Innocent Criminal friends have been paging through business books at Borders lately, they are certainly living Buckingham Logic with their latest effort Lifeline. Songs that call you to action, encourage you to live & love, and all around great grooves fill this August release. I only wish it came out earlier for us mid-westerners so we could have listened to it while drinking beer out on our decks on a warm summer night with friends—this is the chill mood the sounds quickly create.

To say that this is more of what Harper has been doing well all along is not to say there is nothing new on this disc. Actually, it has very little of the slide guitar that put him on the map and more honky-tonk than his earlier work—I’ll leave that to you to decide if that is good news or not. But I will say that the piano takes the lead on much of this album, which gives it a great feel.

Harper has always had an activist/power to the people vibe about him—you know this especially if you have had the joy of seeing him live. This new album continues that great tradition with songs like Heart Of Matters and Fight Outta You.

“You can’t just say I love you, You have to live I love you”

Check out one of the singles form this album, In The Colors.

I really like this song, but when you put along side of Death Cab’s I Will Follow You Into The Dark I think you find some really great overlaps and tension. What do you think? What happens when you put these two songs in conversation with each other? Let me know what you think.

 

 

In The Colors (lyrics)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

When your whole world is shaken from all the risks we have taken
Dance with me, dance with me into the colors of the dusk

When you have awoken from all the dreams broken
Come and dance with me, dance with me into the colors of the dusk
Dance with me in the colors of the dusk

The paths we’re walking on, they crumble behind us
But if we leave now, they will never find us
And if this crazy world spins itself down to dust, I want to be with you in the colors

When you again start hoping with your arms wide open
Come on, dance with me, dance with me into the colors of the dusk
And all will be right, dancing like water with the light
Dance with me, won’t you dance with me into the colors of the dusk?

 

I Will Follow You Into The Dark
Death Cab For Cutie

Love of mine
Someday you will die
But I’ll be close behind
I’ll follow you into the dark
No blinding lights or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of the spark

If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

In catholic school, as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me “Son fear is the heart of love”
So I never went back

If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark