Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Hope You Enjoy Your Stay

Ben Harper
Welcome to the Cruel World
1994, Virgin
produced by JP Plunier


  • Like a King/ Whipping Boy

I like this guy a lot.  This is his first album and has a softer folk sound to it than some of his later albums.  This album helps usher in a new era of the blues and American folk.  The songs speak to the multiracial working class unlike hip hop, r&b, or country music could.  Honestly, those genres probably still can't.  This music had quiet desperation, power in sadness.  Harper had a realness about his music, unlike other '90s acts that seemed to force their pain out in order to make hit records.  Rolling Stone called him the man who inherited the Blues.  I think I agree.  

Speaking of being welcomed to the Cruel World... I don't own this album anymore.  I lent it to a guy who lived across the hall from me in college, and he stole it.  Not only did he steal it, but he came up to me and handed me the empty case, telling me that he was returning it.  I didn't open it to look.  So, not only did he steal from me, he lied also.  This is actually not the last time I lent a Ben Harper album to someone who didn't return it.  

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