#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!