Call It What It Is

Call It What It Is

by Ben Harper & the Innocent CriminalsBen Harper & the Innocent Criminals


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It took Ben Harper nine years to reconvene the Innocent Criminals for 2016's Call It What It Is, but that's not necessarily an abnormally long time for this crew: eight years separated its 2007 predecessor Lifeline from their 2009 debut, Burn to Shine. Harper formed the Innocent Criminals partially with the intention that they'd be his Band of Gypsies, a support system for him to indulge in his Jimi Hendrix daydreams, but they wound up being an even better outlet for his soulful side. Despite "Pink Balloon" and the ham-fisted opener "When Sex Was Dirty" -- bluesy bluster that pulls this closer to Lenny Kravitz than Hendrix -- Call It What It Is is largely devoted to this blissed-out, mellow vibe. Part hippie blues and part Impressions, with just a dose of sunsplash reggae, this is an album for chilling at sunset. Harper may attempt grand statements -- when he's wishing for a time when sex was dirty, it's not a carnal yearning; he associates it with a time when the air was also clean -- but what matters on Call It What It Is isn't what he's saying, but how he's saying it. And that's where the Innocent Criminals come into play. The group gives Harper's tunes warmth and elasticity, opening them up with ease and letting them breathe. When he's backed by the Innocent Criminals, Harper never seems to be trying too hard, and that's why Call It What It Is is a cut above many of his records.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/08/2016
Label: Fantasy
UPC: 0888072356979
catalogNumber: 35697
Rank: 153985

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals   Primary Artist
Ben Harper   Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar,Group Member
Leon Mobley   Percussion,Bongos,Conga,Tambourine,Triangle,Background Vocals,Claves,Djembe,Shakere,Wind Chimes,Cabasa,Flexatones,Whirly Tube,Group Member
Michael Ward   Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Jason Yates   Guitar,Piano,Background Vocals,Clavinet,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Group Member,Hammond B3
Ethan Allen   Group Member
Juan Nelson   Bass,Background Vocals,Group Member
Oliver Charles   Drums,Background Vocals,Djun-Djun,Group Member
Claire Wadsworth   Vocals
Jaclyn Harper   Vocals

Technical Credits

Ben Harper   Composer,Producer
Leon Mobley   Composer,Producer,Music Stand
Michael Ward   Composer,Producer
Jason Yates   Composer,Producer
Ethan Allen   Producer,Engineer
Juan Nelson   Producer
Oliver Charles   Composer,Producer
Jaclyn Harper   Composer

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