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Both Sides of the Gun


Price: $11.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Audio CD, March 21, 2006
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Amazon's Ben Harper Store

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Childhood Home

Biography

The most affecting albums exist as documents – of a time, place, relationships. Childhood Home by Ben and Ellen Harper is that and more. It is the history of a family written in song by a mother and a son, where they come from, hardships transcended, the place they have arrived.

“This album is a portrait and it's a conversation,” Ben Harper says from the kitchen ... Read more in Amazon's Ben Harper Store

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for 52 albums, 10 photos, 3 videos, discussions, and more.

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Frequently Bought Together

Both Sides of the Gun + Diamonds on the Inside + Burn to Shine
Price for all three: $32.53

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B000EGEKWE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Morning Yearning
2. Waiting For You
3. Picture In A Frame
4. Never Leave Lonely Alone
5. Sweet Nothing Serenade
6. Reason To Mourn
7. More Than Sorry
8. Cryin’ Won’t Help You Now
9. Happy Everafter In Your Eyes
Disc: 2
1. Better Way
2. Both Sides Of The Gun
3. Engraved Invitation
4. Black Rain
5. Gather ‘Round The Stone
6. Please Don’t Talk About Murder While I’m Eating
7. Get It Like You Like It
8. The Way You Found Me
9. Serve Your Soul

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Split onto two discs, these 18 songs could have fit on one. It's a testament to Harper's aesthetic sensibilities that it is so configured, thereby both avoiding the scourge of the overly long album and dividing the raw, pummeling rockers from the ballads. With his band, the Innocent Criminals, he tears into such songs as "Get It While You Like It" and "Engraved Invitation" with Rolling Stones Exile-era verve. Their finely honed interplay allows the disc-closing "Serve Your Soul" to truly soar. The quieter disc makes its intentions clear from the outset, as a lightly fingerpicked guitar is enveloped by a string section. Within the two discs' separate identities there is variety and dramatic contrast, each one functioning as its own statement. Harper continues to embrace a variety of influences and genres. Lyrically his songs stretch from matters political to introspective emotions. --David Greenberger

Product Description

2 CD set. The first disc delves into a variety of styles, from the swaggering, Black Crowes-style rocker 'Get It Like You Like It' to the raw blues of 'The Way You Found Me' and the slow-burning, largely instrumental jam 'Serve Your Soul' that closes the side. The second half of Both Sides is a much quieter, intimate affair. It opens with the wistful, string-addled ballad 'Morning Yearning' and moving on to the Nick Drake-influenced solo guitar confessional 'More Than Sorry' and the unabashedly sentimental closer 'Happy Everafter in Your Eyes',an ode to Harper's wife, actress Laura Dern. Virgin. 2006.

Customer Reviews

I believe music lovers will appreciate this album even if they're not particular fans of Harper.
Benn W. Crawford
There are so few recent fairly new artists who are creating compelling diverse and memorable music such as Ben Harper's.
Hugo
I love how they separated the two CD's, with one CD having more mellow songs and the other CD having more upbeat songs.
Jamie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By griphfunk the rock nasty on March 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Ben Harper truly is today's most talented artist. He is an excellent guitarist as displayed on this two disc set. Harper's latest album is a perfect display of the both sides of Ben Harper. Each side of Ben is represented on a disc of its own. Disc one is the sensitive singer-songwriter while disc two is the political fireball.

"Morning Yearning" opens up the first disc with some simple romance. In this song Ben seems to celebrating the simple joys of family life. Plus you have to love the poetic imagery of the phrase, "Like a summer rose, I'm a victim of the fall but am soon returning."

"Sweet Nothing Serenade," is quite possibly the best of Ben Harper's instrumentals. The tune is one of those songs that you instantly felt like you've heard before.

Of course a collection of Ben Harper slow songs would not be complete without some tales of heartbreak in the tradition of "Walk Away" or "Another Lonely Day." On this album that song is "More Than Sorry."

"Crying Won't Help You Now," is classic bitter break up tune. The back up vocals on the chorus make the song quite pretty.

The suprising thing about this disc is the string arrangements. Not that Ben has never performed with strings but it has rarely been done this well. Many times the string arrangements on songs such as "When She Believes" or "My Beloved One" actually trivialize the song. On this disc they really enhance the emotion of the tunes.

As good as the first disc is its the second disc that really cooks. Opening with the fantasic Indian music influenced "Better Way" the disc is a perfect portrayal of the tension and suspicion of our times. "Better Way" is a classic tune of optimism and change the world philosophy.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Francis F. Kilkenny on April 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Given that Diamonds on the Inside was an inconsistant album at best and There Will be a Light was essentially a gospel album (though a good one) Both Sides of the Gun is in some sense a return to roots for Harper. This album is also, in my opinion, Harper's most mature album to date. The musicianship and song-writing is consistantly excellent throughout, and is a firm declaration of a musician at the top of his game.

The album, of course, is broken into two discs that capture different moods (the third disc is a "bonus," see below). The first disc, "Morning Yearning" is full of slow and melancholy songs about love and lonliness. Although, a few of the songs on this disc drag a bit (especially if played alone) they all add to the mood, have excellent lyrics, and beautiful instrumentation. Harper sings well on all the songs, but in some ways I can't help comparing him to Bob Dylan, who wrote so many good songs that were sung better by others. Nevertheless, there are some real gems on this disc, including "Morning Yearning," with its wonderful atmosphere and "Cryin' Won't Help You Now," which soars with help from some solid backup vocals.

The second disc, "Better Way," to put it simply, ROCKS! The disk is full of hard rocking, funk tinged and blues inspired numbers that are so consistantly energetic that it's hard not to set this disc on constant repeat. The song, "Better Way" is the most original and addictive song that Harper has crafted in a long time. Several others deserve mention as well. "Black Rain" is a Katrina-inspired protest song that is very well done. "Please Don't Talk About Murder While I'm Eating," is catchy and fun all the while talking about some very serious matters.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By TC on March 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
While I've yet to collect my thoughts enough to write a full review of this wonderful new album, I feel the need to say a few things based on first impressions. I purposely avoided hearing any tracks from" Both Sides of the Gun" until I bought the album because I strongly feel that you cannot judge an album by a song. While I realize that in today's i-pod world this might seem to be an anachronism, it's what I believe. Maybe even more so in the case of Ben Harper. On this album Ben shares with us more sides of his personality and emotions than he ever has on a single album. In his concerts this is what really makes for the wonderful Ben Harper experience, the ability to go from reflective, to sad to balls out anger in the span of a few songs. Ben does that here in many ways. The album is split into two halves, the quiet, almost folk inspired disc and the rocker side. But the conflicting emotions run true on both discs. The quiet side goes from reflection on beauty as in "Morning Yearning" to the wise "Cryin' won't Help You Now". In a similar fashion Ben does the same thing on the more electric rock disc, going from the societal anger of "Black Rain" and "Please Don't Talk About Murder When I'm Eating", to the Stones-like romp of "Engraved Invitation", but even on that song Ben manages to infuse arena rock with his own inestimable soul. Every inch of this album is a glimpse into the man Ben Harper is and the man he wants to be. In other words completely human.

Over my years of enjoying Ben Harper I have tried to put into thought and word what artists he reminds me of, but I often fail because of his unique voice. Yes I've heard people say just the opposite but in my opinion they're not listening.
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