.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/66ad2a91fb6307722b2be057653ac1b9317aea0f.jpg Burn To Shine

Ben Harper

Burn To Shine

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
October 1, 2003

Ben Harper does everything well without doing anything particularly brilliantly. On his fourth album, Burn to Shine, he works electric and acoustic guitars, often within the same song, moving from keening folk ("Alone") to propulsive rock ("Less") to churchy soul ("Show Me a Little Shame") to alt-rock's melodic crunch ("Please Bleed"). The Southern country rock of "Steal My Kisses" — driven by a human beatbox — nestles alongside the cheerful, low-key swing of the 1920s-style arrangement in "Suzie Blue," with Harper's light, high voice making his commonplace sounds engaging. His musical eclecticism is so impressive, it's easy to overlook the well-meaning pedestrianism of his lyrics ("She brought me so many smiles and tears"). He has a vast and searching musical mind somewhat behind its time, still wringing meaning out of Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Nightshift”

    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com