- Released: May 26, 1997
- Label: Virgin Records Us
Rolling Stone - 6/26/97, p.573 Stars (out of 5)
- "...Harper embraces electrified rock more than ever before. The result finds Harper's acoustic strum doing battle with Zeppelin-esque bombast--a decidedly healthy tension....Harper's most sonically varied release..."
Vibe - 8/97, p.148
"...[Ben Harper] and his band, the Innocent Criminals, passionately continue to seek the honesty of the blues..."
The Source - 8/97, p.176
"...Inspired by the sonic boom that fueled the creative fires of Led Zeppelin, Harper and his band The Innocent Criminals dive head first into electric waters of diversity..."
Option - 9-10/97, p.98
"...this album is packed with meaty tunes that demonstrate Harper's becoming a sharper and craftier writer....His supple vocals are in particularly good form throughout....The guy's a contender."
- 2.Homeless Child
- 3.Number Three
- 4.Roses From My Friends
- 5.Jah Work
- 6.I Want to Be Ready
- 7.The Will to Live
- 9.Widow of a Living Man
- 10.Glory & Consequence
- 11.Mama's Trippin'
- 12.I Shall Not Walk Alone
Available with FIGHT FOR YOUR MIND and WELCOME TO THE CRUEL WORLD in THE BEN HARPER BOX SET.
Personnel: Ben Harper (vocals, guitar, Weissenborn guitar, saz); Alan Anderson (guitar, nylon-string guitar); Patrick Brayer (fiddle, mandolin); Danielle Charles (violin); Brett Banducci (viola); Emily Wright (cello); Eric Person (saxophone); Louis Allen (acoustic bass); Juan Nelson (bass, background vocals); Dean Butterworth (drums); Rock Deadrick (percussion); Agnes Baddoo, Amy Piatt (background vocals).
Personnel: Ben Harper (vocals, guitar, saz); Alan Anderson (guitar, nylon-string guitar); Patrick Brayer (mandolin, fiddle); Danielle Charles (violin); Brett Banducci (viola); Emily Wright (cello); Eric Person (saxophone); Dean Butterworth (drums); Rock Deadrick (percussion); Amy Platt, Agnes Baddoo, Amy Piatt, Juan Nelson (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Eric Sarafin.
Recording information: Grandmaster Recording.
Photographers: Richard Misrach; J.P. Plunier; Annalisa.
Unknown Contributor Role: Ben Harper.
More than just the testosterone Tracy Chapman, Ben Harper's WILL TO LIVE shows him to be an introspective songwriter whose musical horizons have broadened considerably on his third album. Having toured the prior two years with louder groups like Pearl Jam and PJ Harvey may have influenced Harper's decision to plug in. A wise choice, seeing as the material ranges from the moody ruminations of the title track (which brings to mind Chris Whitley's edgier work) to the juked-up delta blues of "Homeless Child." Elsewhere, Harper's muse runs to Curtis Mayfield vamps like "Mama's Trippin'," (complete with wah-wah guitar and wailing alto saxophone) to the sparse, spiritual vibe of "I Shall Not Walk Alone."