Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

Burn To Shine

Virgin

This is Ben Harper’s fourth release, and the first to include the name of his support band, the Innocent Criminals. Since the release of Welcome to the Cruel World in 1994, Harper has not been afraid of experimenting with the styles of influential artists in reggae, blues, jazz, R&B, and rock on each new album. On his third release, The Will to Live , Harper strayed from the unmistakable sound of his antique Weissenborn guitars and began to follow more closely in the electric footsteps of one of his major influences, Jimi Hendrix. The foundation of Burn to Shine , like his other albums, is rooted in the blues, but he further explores the electric sound from his previous release to include banjos, mandolins, fiddles, and piano, among other instruments. In addition to the Zeppelin-esque rock of “The Woman in You” and “Please Bleed,” Burn to Shine contains powerful ballads, a taste of hip-hop, and even some Dixieland Jazz on “Suzie Blue.” The only mainstay of Harper’s music has been the powerful social and political commentary of his songs. Previous releases have dealt heavily with politics, racism, and religion, but Burn to Shine is more introspective and personal on songs such as “Alone,” “Please Bleed,” and “Show Me a Little Shame.”

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