audiotrack Fight for Your Mind

reviewed by Jill Hill

Published in Issue No. 14 ~ July, 1998

If unlike Mr. Clinton, you prefer to inhale, Ben Harper has an anthem for you on his second CD, Fight for Your Mind:

If you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m going to burn one down
yes I’m going to burn one down

Harper has two CDs. And he is all about talent. All around talent. Good lyrics. Good tunes. Good drums. Good guitar work. He’s been playing small venues for several years and is presently touring with the Horde tour. This CD is a blend of protest songs (a protest against indifference), love songs, or at love gone sour and weird, and a few gospel, praise the Lord hymns.

The love songs, “Another Lonely Day,” “Please Me Like You Want To,” and “Gold to Me” depict a mature, slightly sad view of love.

You presence ain’t nobody’s blessing
I’ve got plenty of other things
I could do.

But he doesn’t of course – or he wouldn’t be singing about it. The heartbroken vocals and sad guitar strings and the drums make for a haunting tune devoted to obsessional love. “Gold to Me,” is one of those contented love ballads when true love has been found at a cost. The CD ends with songs that show a social conscience without being preachy, such as the track “Fight for Your Mind.”

If your going to build a house
make it a home
if your gonna pull some weight
pull your own

I can’t classify this CD, but I love it, and everyone I have played it for loves it.

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Jill Hill lives with some kids, some dogs, writes, and manages a restaurant where she tries out her new CD's. She listens to a variety of music, from Classical to Blues, but tries to stay away from most rap. In her words: "I am always on the look out for a new band or singer/songwriter that I will like. I like a CD that does not grow old and weary sounding, which mean I don't want buy a CD that can be found on the used CD sale table a month later. One of my favorite CD's is Neal Young's Everyone Knows this is Nowhere. My favorite writer is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and my favorite novel of his Of Love and Other Demons. X-Files is about the only TV I watch. I do not watch sitcoms and do not like music inspired by sitcoms. I'd rather listen to a sampled rap version of the Jetsons theme song."