Friday, March 27, 2015

CD: Ben Harper and Ellen Harper - Childhood Home

Ben Harper and Ellen Harper
Childhood Home
A House is a Home 2:43City of Dreams 3:42 Born to Love You 3:30 Heavyhearted 2:57
Farmer's Daughter 3:15 Memories of Gold Altar of Love 3:21Break You Heart 3:41
Learn it All Again Tomorrow 3:02 How Could We Not Believe 3:46


Sorry I haven't been writing as many reviews as I usually do. I have been overwhelmed with getting the new issue of the literary journal out. What was great in this issue was the fact that one of my first reviews was with the band in it and I had even done an interview with them for Country Music News International. I feel blessed to be able to review these bands, and even sometimes maintain correspondence with the people in them.
Now, Ben Harper and Ellen Harper I'll probably never get that close with, but when I saw this album in the drive my jaw hit the floor. I even asked Christian specifically to hold on to this one for me because I wanted this review badly. And, A House is a Home, did not let me down. Lyrically it places you back into your youth. Maybe you find yourself looking out at your uncut yard and you're supposed to mow it that Saturday morning before you can go out and play. Maybe, you find yourself passing by that old house that everyone whispers about being haunted. The acoustic guitar just adds the rolling hills and colorful changing seasons of the leaves. This is one of those songs that I could put on an endless loop and play all day long and never get tired of.
City of Dreams throws you off a bit as Ellen Harper's voice travels up a few octaves. This song is a reflection of the urban expansion that took over their area through the decades. For me this song was one of those that I seriously had to think about how it was written. Did the music or lyrics come first?
What kind of country album wouldn't have one of those fancy heartfelt songs about love? Wow, Hey!! Born to Love You comes next. I'm actually sitting here just stunned.........I don't know what to write, I mean this...Ellen Harper sings a lot on...It's a duet.. This is just a really powerful song. It'll bring out that sense of romanticism in anyone. Just the thought. Ben and Ellen make those five words sink so deep into your mind that you are lost in that beautiful magic feeling. If you hit hard times just play this song and it'll bring you back into all of those incredible moments in your life. All your senses are brought out in visions of memories and thought.
Heavyhearted, tells a story. It's Christmas Morning in the Site War. Sounds like their on desperations door. It like one of those old civil war ballads you see on the battlefields in black and white that are on documentaries. Who knows maybe that's what it was written for.
Banjo puts you on the grasslands for, Farmer's Daughter, is a story about a family farm going under; which isn't fairly uncommon. It's a sad story, but that's the same as a single fisherman trying to make a living these days. I should also explain that this song is the story through the eyes of the farmer's daughter.
Altar of Love, is another story of growing up. I believe I can tell which four songs Ellen Harper wrote. It took me a little while. This is a song about a woman growing into adulthood.
These stories have to be stories related to Ellen's life.
Break Your Heart, is a love song but it is mainly played slowly in acoustic guitar with Ellen's voice seeming to just keep you floating on clouds the deeper you get into it. Learn it All Again Tomorrow, begins to play next. So far this is my favorite song on this album. It's an upbeat rhythm that'll get your foot tapping as it takes you travelling with its beat that get's that image of the road and the sound of the tires as they take you.
How Beautiful We Could Not Believe, finishes off this Mother's Day album. This really is the perfect way to end it. It's the song that you'll have to listen to over and over again. You'll listen to it a thousand times and each time you'll find a new meaning.
This Album has some absolutely amazing songs. The ones I didn't think that much of, or write more of above when I found out even a little information, those stories were explained the second time around. The things like: Ben Harper wrote six songs and Ellen Harper wrote four. Ellen Harper is Ben Harper's mother, this album is for Mother's Day, and there is a picture of the homestead where the stories took place.

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International
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