#reviewoftheweek / Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals - Call It What It Is

Ben Harper hasn't recorded music with his band the Innocent Criminals in about 10 years. It was almost as if that was a chapter of his musical career that was closed and never was to be revisited. Boy, were we wrong! And it's a goods thing too, because this new collection of songs reminds us just why we fell in love with Harpers music over 20 years ago. The combination of folk, funk, rock, blues, and reggae is unlike any other band touring or recording music these days. It's a throwback kind of sound that feels fresh and new and updated to reflect the changing times, both musically and socially. The title track is a social commentary which is paramount to Harper's lyricism. It's not his first lyrical expression of his opinions but it is one of his best. Straight up rock hits in the form of the lead single "Pink Balloon" and the lead off track "When Sex Was Dirty." The band even has time to throw in an old school reggae track called "Fining My Way," which is a standout all Harper's reggae tracks. One of the best bands and leaders to hit the stage over the past quarter century, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals are back, and hopefully here to stay!


#reviewoftheweek / Greg Laswell - Everyone Thinks I Dodged A Bullet

One of the most solid musicians making music these days is Greg Laswell. You can always be guaranteed to be impressed with each collection of music he puts out. Never one to have broken out into the mainstream, Laswell's music stays just below the radar enough to keep him intriguing and artistic, without having to cater to the demands of the music world. That being said, his latest is raw and insightful, showcasing his signature vocals and storyteller lyricism. The track "Dodged A Bullet" is a perfect display of just that, and other songs like "Out Of Line" use the lyrics as their bedrock. The album's lead single "Lifetime Ago" is the closing thing you'll get to a pop hit on this album, and it's about as close as you'll want to be with Laswell's music. In the truest sense, Greg Laswell is the epitome of a singer/songwriter, and 30 years we may look back at his body of work the way we look at Dylan and Simon and Cash.


#reviewofthweek / Dave Barnes - Carry On, San Vicente

Dave Barnes is one of those artists that you can't seem to get away from. His music is everywhere and he cowrites songs with everyone. It's always nice when he puts out a new collection, so that you can see what he's up to. Not straying too far from his signature pop rock sound, Barnes' new collection is bright and upbeat as usual, focusing on some of the best lyrics he's written. The title tracks is an upbeat fun track that is reminiscent of 80s and 90s soft rock, showcasing a very nostalgic feel. In fact, the entire album feels nostalgic, both in influence and in history, as you can hear elements od each of Dave's releases throughout the collection. Never one to disappoint, Barnes has delivered another stellar album.


#reviewoftheweek / Lissie - My Wild West

My Wild West is a great new album from Lissie. She mixed indie and classic rock sounds for a well rounded album, that showcases more of her excellent lyricism than ever before. She's not the type of chick you mess around with, and you can tell, because she can hold her own with a guitar. Standout tracks on the album include "Daughters," "Hero," and "Don't You Give Up On Me." Being that this is her third album, it seems kind of hard to reproduce the success and sound of her pervious. Lissie does that and more with this collection, showing that going sideways is just as awesome as going forward It's not always about topping yourself, it's about showcasing your many talents.


BURN THIS / April 2016

  1. Brett Dennen "What's The Secret?"
  2. Jon And Roy "When I Rise"
  3. Roo Panes "Where I Want To Go"
  4. Mason Jennings "Heaven"
  5. Lissie "Daughters"
  6. Judah & The Lion "Graffiti Dreams"
  7. Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes "Get Mine"
  8. White Denim "Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)"
  9. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals "Call It What It Is"
  10. JJ Grey & Mofro "Brave Lil' Fighter"
  11. Green River Ordinance "Red Fire Night"
  12. Griffin House "Yesterday Lies"
  13. Graham Colton "Life Is What You Make It"
  14. The Hunts "Just For A While"
  15. Escondido "Try"
  16. Greg Laswell "Out Of Line"
  17. Rogue Wave "California Bride"
  18. Good Old War "Small World"
  19. The River Arkansas "Golden Light"
  20. Jose Gonzalez "With The Ink Of A Ghost"