White Lies For Dark Times - Ben Harper And Relentless7
White Lies For Dark Times Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Summary: Ben Harper's latest album is the first album to be credited with the Relentless7.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Harper's new band makes a fabulous racket, and the singer himself sounds reenergized on the soulful likes of 'Lay There and Hate Me.'
  2. Ben Harper is that rare talent able to not only vacation in the worlds of gospel, soul, folk and even reggae, but meld them gracefully together on both album and stage. But sometimes you just want him to rock, like he did on 1995's "Ground on Down." And at long last, he's assembled a new band that seems dedicated to just that, and it's a beautiful thing.
  3. This is the record that finally matches the excitement Harper generates in a live setting and is not to be missed.
  4. Harper achieves the illusive balance of willful positivism and skeptical sentimentality in low-lit anthem 'Up to You Now' and the fuzz guitar, jam-band crush of 'Shimmer & Shine.' His sharp turns of phrase still cut deepest when he's seething from the scorn of a woman.
  5. 60
    The acoustic neo-folk ditties that made his name are deployed in the form of 'Faithfully Remain' and 'Skin Thin,' but the heavy side of Harper makes for a welcome detour. [Jun 2009, p.102]
  6. This is a record so drenched in Vietnam War-era blues rock you can all but smell the patchouli and napalm, and though 'Why Must You Always Dress In Black' may be his most shameless Hendrix-rip-off to date, it is nevertheless a convincing one. [Jun 2009, p.124]
  7. White Lies For Dark Times succeeds when cool and carefree; when the album ups the energy, however, it’s channeled through the formulaic licks found at on any average summer-festival circuit, suggesting Lifeline’s high standards were an anomaly.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. david
    May 5, 2009
    10
    I've listened to Ben Harper for years, and I think it is his best effort yet. R7 is, indeed, top notch and generally kick ass. Some of the critics simply wish they could make music this good. Expand
  2. JamesM
    May 16, 2009
    10
    When few rock bands are able to inspire with hard, edgy, and thoughtful music, Ben Harper comes to the rescue. This is a throwback to the late 60's energy of Zeppelin and Cream. Those who find fault with this album take themselves way too seriously. These are great musicians giving us a gift of unfiltered, raw rock 'n roll. Enjoy this gem for what it is. Expand
  3. DestroyerC
    May 5, 2009
    10
    Best studio album he has ever put out. The best rock album in a long time. The critics are way off on this, no way it should get anything below a 70.
  4. MicahH
    May 6, 2009
    10
    Great sound. Rock and roll at it's best. Different sound, but same ol Ben Harper. Gotta love it!
  5. MLJ
    May 5, 2009
    9
    If you compare this record to his past work, you're missing the point. This is supposed to be a natural and collaborative work, representative of the group. His past stuff has been product of a pretty autocratic creative process. This is Ben learning how to be in a real band, and it sounds pretty awesome to me. When he goes back to the Innocent Criminals, he's going to bring all this experience with him. It's just another evolutionary step in the career of a versatile and talented American artist. Expand