Title - 'By My Side' (Virgin)
Artist - Ben Harper
By My Side is a twelve song retrospective of unforgettable ballads by genre-bending, Grammy®-winning musician and songwriter, Ben Harper. Featuring songs personally selected by Harper, By My Side includes classics like 'Forever,' 'Diamonds On The Inside' and 'Waiting On An Angel.'
Indeed, the album kicks off with one of them, 'Forever.' A slow him+acoustic guitar track, it's most definitely a slowly methodical way to begin the album. His pained title cut 'By My Side' is next, which is followed by one of my all-time Harper favorites, 'Gold To Me.' The bouncy aspect to that last track is continued onwards with 'Diamonds On the Inside,' with the slow-funk of 'In The Colors' following thereafter.
Next up on this first-ever career-spanning retrospective is 'Beloved One,' yet another Harper+guitar track, which is backed by a never-before-released studio version of 'Not Fire Not Ice.' A track that until now was available only on the international single for 'Ground On Down,' it is Harper alone with his guitar. Lowering his tone and singing like a lonesome cowboy out on the range, it is a scene-stealing track, for sure.
Next is a slightly more upbeat 'Morning Yearning,' where Harper takes us through his morning routine, and it is backed by both a vocally-ranging 'Feel Love' and then the beautiful 'Happy Everafter in Your Eyes.' The album then comes to a close with the quietly-stunning 'Waiting On an Angel' and a brand new recording, a gentle guitar-twanging ballad called 'Crazy Amazing.'