Both Sides Of The Gun Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Summary: Harper's first album in three years is split into a disc of uptempo rockers and a second disc of acoustic ballads.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. It's occasionally a bit too easy to play spot-the-influences with Harper's stuff... but his unabashed, unaffected nostalgia is more charming than irritating. [24 Mar 2006, p.69]
  2. 90
    With Both Sides Of The Gun, Harper proves he's prolific, diverse and relevant. [Apr 2006, p.86]
  3. The rap on Ben Harper's music up to this point has been that it's been too derivative. This could be the album where he finally transcends that. [23 Mar 2006, p.61]
  4. His masturbatory approach to the stroking of his muse is very nearly obscene. [Apr 2006, p.114]
  5. 60
    What Harper's over-educated style can't replicate is his heroes' blazing souls. [Apr 2006, p.114]
  6. If in Both Sides of the Gun Harper is trying to show his audience what a wide variety of music he can cover, he certainly accomplishes that. But if he's trying to create an album that is really about him, he doesn't quite deliver. Ben Harper is in there, don't worry, but he can be a little hard to find.
  7. While his ambition on Both Sides Of The Gun is just another of Harper's many likable qualities, ambition alone doesn't make the kind of statement that the album's scope and structure demands.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. MikeA
    Jul 31, 2006
    Harper has his downfalls. But critics are a waste of trees in the music business as music is purely opinion. I love Ben Harper because i love his different sounds, i love his heroes and the fact that his music isn't critcally accepted commercialised crap that fills the music industry theses days. Expand
  2. JoelL
    Jun 1, 2006
    Ben Harper's songwriting skills, (and i'm talking about musically) have impressed me once again. I, being a musician, (and a horrible lyric writer), find the music in this cd to be outstanding. Expand
  3. DanH
    Apr 4, 2006
    A mature and cohesive work, even if it drags in a couple places. His third best album after "Diamonds" and "Fight for your Mind", and worth a buy for any music lover, if not as well for the inventive box packaging. Expand
  4. PaulMac
    Mar 30, 2006
    Not sure why Blender and Billboard are slagging on Ben so much. He's not a pretentious hippie, he's a cool guy who likes to play jam music with his band and rock out. "Serve Your Soul" is eight minutes of rock n roll genius and I love every second of it. same goes for "both sides of the gun" and "please don't talk about murder while i'm eating". Although I have to say that at times disc one (the mellow one) is like Fight for Your Mind without a pulse. But there are still several awsome tunes on disc one. Overall i give disc one 6/10 and disc two a perfect 10. Expand
  5. RyanM
    Mar 31, 2006
    Not his best cd but still worth buying and giving it a good listen
  6. JohnH
    Mar 22, 2006
    Not as memorable as other Ben Harper albums, but still tops quite a few albums, at worst.
  7. TomC
    May 28, 2006
    I've been a fan of Ben Harper for a long time now, but I have to admit that I'm getting a little bit bored with him. His music doesn't seem to be stretching or changing, and it's like he ran out of inspiration a few albums ago. I hope he reinvents himself somewhere along the line, or he's going to regress into being a fun live show, and nothing more. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews