Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Live from Mars
Genres: Alternative Rock, Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock
Ben Harper Photos More from Ben Harper Fight for Your Mind Both Sides of the Gun Welcome to the Cruel World Burn to Shine The Will to Live Live at the Hollywood Bowl
Listen to Samples
Ben Harper Photos More from Ben Harper
Fight for Your Mind
Both Sides of the Gun
Welcome to the Cruel World
Burn to Shine
The Will to Live
Live at the Hollywood Bowl
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Hard word pays off
Bryan Wilson | Lexington, MA United States | 04/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is how you make a live album. too many artists simply throw together a bunch of hits that they took to the road and package a live recording to make a quick buck from fans who can't afford to follow them cross-country. from the outset of "live from mars", it's clear that harper has put considerable effort into assembling this project. literally sifting through hours of recorded material from the past seven years (nearly every show was taped), he picked out what he thought were the best versions of the best songs. nearly every selection surpasses its album counterpart musically and emotionally. tellingly, the opening disc's "burn one down," features an ecstatic crowd singing along to every word. another crowd favorite, a guitar-driven cover of marvin gaye's "sexual healing," carries the energy and vivacity a live track should have. a fitting close to the first disc (which features harper backed by his full band, the innocent criminals) is the jaw-dropping medley of the 1997 hit "faded," and the led zeppelin classic "whole lotta love." those eleven minutes undeniably confirm this band's ability to display their grittier rock-n-roll roots. jimi hendrix would be proud. of course, as you might expect if you are familiar with harper's shows, he just happened to throw in a second, entirely acoustic disc - a man and his guitar, as the saying goes. it serves as an ideal balance to the first disc in its simplistic, mellower mood. kicking off with the beautiful "waiting on an angel," this set makes it known that this is the ben harper we know best, a compassionate, reflective singer/songwriter who finds beauty and simplicity in everything. unlike many of his contemporaries, he can pull this off without seeming forced or sappy, or even worse, boring. his startling cover of the verve's "the drugs don't work," and a remarkable take on his brooding "another lonely day," exhibit these abilities best. harper finishes with the political "like a king," and the maya sngelou inspired "i'll rise," another medley of epic, though more subdued, proportions. what's wrong with all this, you ask? well, it's nitpicking to argue with the track-list, as harper did his best to include personal as well as fan favorites. the one drawback is that it's rather difficult to swallow so much quality material at once, but in reality, that just speaks to harper's accomplishments as a dedicated and gifted musician. if you like ben harper at all, i can't imagine any disappointment after listening to this."
Ben looks good on Mars
Kimberly Kelley | Terre Haute, IN | 03/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I waited for weeks in anticipation of this album. I picked it up the night it was released, and stayed up till 2:00 listening to it. It was that good.Disc 1 is Ben backed up by the Innocent Criminals, playing some of his best electric work. "Glory and Consequence" is a marvelous way to start this album. A little later Ben plays his one-of-a-kind cover of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing". This is a concert staple for Ben, and the live album probably wouldn't be complete without it. "Steal my kisses" is introduced with some awesome beats, and gives the song a whole new sound by speeding it up a bit. "Burn one down" could be considered a political anthem, but it's hard to think about politics with Ben's beautiful voice uttering "if you don't like my fire, don't come around, I'm gonna burn one down." You get swept up in the music, and the fact that the audience knew all of the words, and sang along quite nicely, added to the superbness of this song. "Forgiven" provides us with a guitar solo of epic proportions, but it's not overdone. Finally, Ben goes into "Faded", a great song in it's own right, but the added cover of Zeppelin's Whole lotta love" makes it even better, and putting the two songs with eachother worked very well.Disc 2 is solo, acoustic Ben. The Ben that we all fell in love with first. "Waiting on an angel" is truly beautiful, and a hellofa way to start off the album, it really sets the tone. "Please Bleed" in acoustic form is, in my opinion, better than his studio version. he gets very emotional on this track and reminds you a lot of "Fight for your mind" songs. "Not fire, not ice" is also a concert staple, and the lyrics on here are really captivating. "Beloved one" is drawn out a bit from it's studio version, which turns it into a very attractive love song. The last song "Like a king" is just one of Ben's many political songs. It tells of two Kings, Martin Luther, and Rodney, and brings them together over the L.A. riots. He adds to this song Maya Angelou's "I'll rise" poem, which was meant to be sung; this is obvious after you hear it.If you've been to a Ben concert, you know how powerful they can be. This album is a very good representation of his live performances. He combines old songs, new songs, cover songs and gives it his all, and puts in pure emotion to make one of the best albums out there."
This will be a Classic!
bartbort | Indiana | 03/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just bought this cd this morning and I can't stop listening to it already! This is the absolute best live album I have ever heard. The atmosphere from a Ben concert is hard to put into words, but by listening to these two cds you're almost there. Disc one is a mix of great live versions of the more upbeat songs, while disk two is the acoustic sets. This album includes awesome versions of all of the crowd favorites: "Ground on Down", a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", and OF COURSE "Burn One Down", but the real winners are on Disk two- EVERY song either gives me chills or brings tears to my eyes (or both). This album's version of "In the Lord's Arms" is unbelievable and "Walk Away" (one of my all-time favorite Ben songs, and life-mottos) is amazing. Every song on this album is so heartfelt and real and strong- Ben is a TRUE musician... I don't like the way he is only associated with "Steal my Kisses" on the radio and MTV, but if it makes more people buy his albums to listen to everything else that he is and that he can do then I'm happy. If you've never heard Ben before other than "Steal my Kisses", definately buy this album- I promise you will be forever grateful, and if you're a Ben fan already- this cd embodies a Ben concert and what I feel Ben's music is all about and it will be a great addition to any cd collection!"