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Give Till It's Gone

20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 17, 2011
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Give Till It's Gone + Childhood Home + Get Up! [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]
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Editorial Reviews

On May 17th, Virgin Records will release Give Till It's Gone , Ben Harper's 10th studio album.

With "Rock N' Roll Is Free," the album's first single, Harper pays tribute to an audacious art form that continually challenges the status quo, demanding that we look at the world in "a brand new way." The song was inspired by rock legend Neil Young, whom Harper opened for in London last summer. Young's mesmerizing performance of "Rockin' in the Free World" planted the seeds of a new song in Harper's mind, compelling him to go straight back to his room after the show and write "Rock N' Roll Is Free." The incident is emblematic of the kind of urgency with which the new album was forged.

Harper recorded most of Give Till It's Gone - his first solo record since 2006's Both Sides of the Gun - at the Los Angeles studio of Jackson Browne, who harmonizes with him on the wistful "Pray That Our Love Sees The Dawn." The album also features two tracks co-written with Ringo Starr - the exuberant, psychedelic-tinged "Spilling Faith" and "Get There From Here," an improvisational instrumental. Starr, who also plays drums on the songs, tapped Harper for his 2010 album, Y Not.

"I've never made a record that was such a timeline," says Harper. "It's a real extension of the last year and half in my life, and all these sounds are inspired by my experiences. It's as honest a musical statement as I could make."

With Give Till It's Gone, Harper examines the disparity between the man he is today and the man he endeavors to become. Reaching deep within, he discovers there are no easy answers, but implores us to go the distance with him on this journey in the moving album opener, "Don't Give Up On Me Now." While its songs are highly personal, Give Till It's Gone illuminates the universal struggle to find meaning and fully engage with life and one another. We may pass through a dark night of the soul, but giving up is not a viable option, as Harper reminds us with certainty in the transcendent "I Will Not Be Broken."

Harper made his debut in 1994 with Welcome to the Cruel World, which was subsequently certified Gold. In 2005, he received GRAMMY awards for "Best Pop Instrumental Performance" for his single "11th Commandment" and for "Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album" for There Will Be A Light, featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama. His three most recent studio albums - Both Sides of the Gun (2006), Lifeline (2007) and White Lies for Dark Times (2009) - debuted in the Top 10 of The Billboard 200. Harper formed Fistful of Mercy with Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur and the trio released the album As I Call You Down in 2010.


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Don't Give Up On Me Now 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. I Will Not Be Broken 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Rock N' Roll Is Free 4:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Feel Love 3:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Clearly Severely 4:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Spilling Faith 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Get There From Here 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Pray That Our Love Sees The Dawn 4:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Waiting On A Sign 4:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Dirty Little Lover 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Do It For You, Do It For Us 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • ASIN: B004P5C7I4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,520 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Torman Grant on June 4, 2011
Format: Audio CD
It's pathetic that there are only 5 reviews of this album. Ben Harper is such a gifted artist; one of the best of our time. It's unfortunate that he's basically only known for the song Steal My Kisses; his worst track in my opinion. That song is in no way a representation of Ben Harper's immense talent, although the album Burn To Shine as a whole is amazing. Give Till It's Gone is not quite as good as White Lies For Dark Times or Burn To Shine for that matter, but it is still a solid release. If I'm comparing this collection of songs to other Ben Harper works, it gets 4 stars, but if I'm comparing it to other contemporary music, it definitely deserves 5 stars. Obviously I chose the latter criteria. It is truly perplexing to me that Harper does not get more attention. The guy plays a mean slide guitar and his lyrics always come from the heart. I'm glad he has always stayed true to himself rather than going for the hit record. The songs on this album are very personal, and therefore, very powerful; there is nothing phony about Mr. Harper. I'm sure everyone knows by now that this album is about Ben's separation from Laura Dern. Unfortunately, the best art comes from pain, and Ben delivers once again with Give Till It's Gone. It's not his best, but it's definitely not his worst. It's just another solid effort from the master of meloncholy.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Honest Mango on May 27, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
I want to start this off by saying that I would much rather listen to Ben Harper's best work with poor sound than to listen to just about anybody else's best studio gloss and shine. But there is a problem here. The low end on this record is bloated and lacks cohesion. There are parts of the record where the vocals actually get lost. I don't know if it's a mix issue or a mastering issue, but something is very "off" for me with the sound of this album.

Having said that, in a world where all recordings are compressed into oblivion which destroys all dynamics and narrows the stereo field, most people probably won't even notice the sound deficiencies. It's just hard to believe that in a world full of volume knobs, mastering engineers feel compelled to use every last bit of headroom and hype the low end so that everything sounds like it's on the damned radio already.

Oh yeah, I actually like the album. I'd give it my fan-like support of 5 stars if it sounded better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shopper2422 on June 16, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I saw Harper live at the time of the release of his first album Welcome to the Cruel World. He and his band produced one of the best performances I have ever seen of any band - they rocked, grooved and the whole crowd danced. I ran out and bought that album only to discover a set of quiet acoustic songs that were quite different from the live experience. I have followed Harper's career since, each time hoping the next new album would match the intensity of his live performances, only to be disappointed. Until now!

This album is amazing. It is like Harper has been set free. There is a power and a joy to these songs, and there is a lot of emotion being spilled here. It is obvious he and his band are having fun spilling it. Certainly there is a retro feel to many of the tracks, with echos of Cream, Phish, Hendrix amongst others, but tracks like Spilling Faith, Do It For You and Get There From Here show Harper's real brilliance. Try to keep your feet still to Rock N'Roll Is Free.

This album is destined for three stars, not because it is mediocre but because it will be polarizing. If you loved Harper's previous albums this is certainly a departure, and likely will result in poor reviews. If you have experienced his live shows, and puzzled why they didn't translate to disc, check this out. Potential finally fulfilled indeed. I can't wait to see this live.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bri Gee on October 6, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
I echo the sentiment of the previous poster who pointed out how little people acknowledge this amazing artist. Ben Harper produces consistently high quality music and his live shows are outstanding. Rock and Roll is free if you want it people, there are artists out there who play real music... not autotuned and engineered. Ben Harper, you are an example of a real musician with staying power! This album is great!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur C Duprat on June 10, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not Harper's usual quality. There is maybe one or two tracks I'll retain. The rest, when downloaded on my computer ad "delete" as their fate.
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Format: Audio CD
His BEST album. Every song is really good freaking music AND amazingly good lyrical content. His BEST by far, so I'm surprised some don't like it. In "Spilling Faith" he sings "don't let one day go to waste, I'm filling space . . . I'm spilling faith", and from "Feel Love" there's: "grace is love undeserved".
Amazing album, one of the best of the year.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nse Ette TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 17, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Last year, Ben Harper teamed up with Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur in the supergroup A Fistful of Mercy, a beautiful folky affair. He retreats into solo mode on possibly his best album yet, "Give Till It's Gone".

"Don't Give Up On Me Now" is Country/Rock and is rather mournful. "I Will Not Be Broken" is an affecting ballad featuring tortured vocals, while the Bluesy shuffle of "Feel Love" finds Harper singing in falsetto. "Pray That Our Love Sees The Dawn" is an ominous Alt-Country ballad.

"Rock N' Roll Is Free" is a jagged Blues Rocker. Others in that vein are the racuous "Cleverly Severely" (with buzzing/screeching guitars and drum kit-demolishing percussion), the Beatles-esque "Spilling Faith" which fittingly features Ringo Starr on drums and segues seamlessly into the instrumental "Get There From Here" (for a delightful ten minute jam session), and the fuzzy dischordant "Dirty Little Lover".

"Waiting On A Sign" is a groovy soulful number with Harper singing "A mother's only happy as her saddest child". Closing is the Disco-tinged rocker "Do It For You, Do It For Us" with Harper growling and yelping against nice smooth and rough musical contrasts.

What can I say? This is an album that gives and gives. Ben Harper and his band having a fabulous time. Superb!
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