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Albums Of The Week: Ben Harper | Wide Open Light

The singer-guitarist proves less can be more on this mellow, minimalist offering.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter, musician and producer Ben Harper’s new studio album Wide Open Light is — according him — a family of songs he’s written where each track is a close relative to the next. It’s deliberately minimalist and the songs themselves do as much of the heavy lifting as the production. “There was once a time when albums didn’t need an adjacent story or fable. When the songs were enough,” Ben says. “I’m excited to return to this.”

The single Yard Sale, Ben explains, “follows a man through the final blurred stages of a breakup. With each passing verse the couple grows further beyond reach or repair. By the song’s end, he’s more confused than when the song began.”

As a three-time Grammy winner, Harper has amassed international critical applause and a worldwide fan following for his own genre-traversing body of work while also producing acclaimed albums by Mavis Staples, Rickie Lee Jones, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Natalie Maines, Ziggy Marley and others. An inveterate collaborator, Harper has also recorded with a diverse span of artists ranging from John Lee Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite, to Ringo Starr, Keith Richards and, most recently, Harry Styles, to contribute his signature guitar work to the superstar’s chart-topping album, HARRY’S HOUSE. Harper joined Styles for an astounding 12 nights of performances at The Kia Forum in Los Angeles this past fall.”

 

Photo by Jacob Boll.
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