Album Review: Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite – No Mercy In This Land
No Mercy In This Land is the second album by Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, following their Grammy Awarded Get Up! in 2013. Once again, thanks to the legendary harmonica sound by Charlie Musselwhite, the sentimental lyrics and the strong vocals by Ben Harper, the two American artists are able to deliver an outstanding album.
When I Go opens with nearly imperceptible moans, which are quickly shot down when the fierce electric guitar by Ben Harper proudly kicks in. When I Go’s slow rhythm is enriched by the splendid and crunchy Musselwhite’s harmonica. This song shakes you right away and it makes you excited for what is coming: the perfect opener.
Differently, Bad Habits is upbeat and playful. In this track, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite’s talent is enhanced even more thanks to the harmonica riffs and the deep strong vocals. Bad Habits, together with The Bottle Wins Again, is one of the most powerful standout tracks in No Mercy In This Land.
Following, there are few slower tunes: When Love Is Not Enough and Nothing At All. Though both incredibly crafted, concluding such a vigorous album with a ballade as Nothing At All feels a little inappropriate and undertone.
No Mercy In This Land is more than a blues album: it’s a visceral and emotional record which features both uplifting and playful melodies, and slower tunes. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite created an exceptional work by combining their traditional blues style to a fresher tone.