Wow.

I’m sorry, I don’t know if my point got across properly – WOW!

Ben Harper has teamed up with a new backing band, Relentless7, to make “White Lies For Dark Times” – some of his best music yet. I’ve never much of a fan of Harper’s soulful rock and roll, so he never made it far on my radar, but this album oozes passionate rock and roll and makes you sit up and notice it.

“Number With No Name” opens the album and sets the slightly heavy blues tone for the record as Harper jams out slick vocals. The gauzy guitar and Harper’s audible attitude on the track make it an enchanting listen. The following song, “Up To You Now,” is a more melancholy tune, about putting the fate of a relationship in the hands of your partner. It’s emotional and effective with every note.

“Shimmer & Shine” brings the record back to happy territory, with something of a singalong chorus to make it a fan favorite. Harper then goes on to probably disappoint a lot of fans when he sings “never trust a woman who loves the blues” on the bouncy blues track, “Lay There & Hate Me.” The guitar solo on this song is particularly excellent.

The pace then slows right down on the smooth ballad “Skin Thin,” which floats effortlessly out of the speakers, accompanied by beautiful strings instruments and light guitars. “Fly One Time” is a similarly sultry song, although it packs a bit more energy than the previous track. And on “Boots Like These,” the band jumps wholeheartedly into a sexy danceable track, making it one of the best on the album.

It would be possible to go on singing this album’s praises through another six or seven repeats of the whole thing, because the music just doesn’t seem to get stretched or tired, no matter how much you hear it. The tracks on “White Lies For Dark Times” are enjoyable in a new and different way every time you hear them – you’ll be missing out on one of the best albums of the summer if you don’t give this a listen now.