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9 Reviews
5 star:
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I went out and bought this record after enduring a friend's earnest recommendations for a week or two. I am not disappointed with it. This album bears all the hallmarks of musical genius, and from the passionate, heart-wrenching acoustics of "Waiting on an angel" to the thought-provoking and incipient lyrics of "How many miles must we march?", no...
Published on 25 May 2002

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars moments of genius
Two songs on this record are in my alltime top ten,walk away and forever, a few other tracks do well but if you like mr.harper you'll realise that you simply have to own all the albums and skip to your favourite tracks depending on your frame of mind.p.s roses from my friends on live from mars is outstanding.
Published on 12 April 2003


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 25 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
I went out and bought this record after enduring a friend's earnest recommendations for a week or two. I am not disappointed with it. This album bears all the hallmarks of musical genius, and from the passionate, heart-wrenching acoustics of "Waiting on an angel" to the thought-provoking and incipient lyrics of "How many miles must we march?", no self-respecting fan of real, soulful, genuine music can go without this outstandingly impressive and original masterpiece.
Without doubt one of my favourite albums of all time.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ben Plays On Rockier Ground, 7 Aug 2002
By 
Straightforward (Twickenham) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
Ben Harper's first album had a real acoustic feel to it; the songs were accompanied by bongo drums at times, and although that might sound a little bit cringe-worthy, the overall effect of the album was a balanced and relaxing listen.
Here on his second album he starts the progression towards rock that he continued in the following albums; Harper's electric guitar-playing is allowed more of the spotlight as they go on, and the rhythmic, almost reggae-like quality is given less emphasis. There are still some great tracks on this album('Waiting on an Angel', 'Forever' and the title track are prime examples), and the quality of song-writing and melody composition is a hall-mark that cannot be hidden by any amount of Lenny Kravitz style posturing. This album still merits four stars because there is still much evidence of the more chilled-out Ben, and after a while even some of the louder tracks grew on me.
So approach Ben with care; he's a wonderful talent - if you prefer your music to come from the 'Punch the Air' rock school, then go to his most recent albums: 'Burn to Shine' and 'Live From Mars'. If you want to hear a slightly more mellowed-out peaceful Ben, then start at the beginning with 'Fight for your Mind', and THEN try this one...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mellow, 1 May 2000
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
After buying and falling in love with the newer, rockier Burn to Shine, my first impression of "Welcome..." was that it was a bit of a let down. However, the incredibly mellow, acoustic-based songs grow on you very quickly and I now rate this album up there with "Burn to Shine". Unlike many albums, "Welcome..." does not trail off towards the end with weaker songs, and the last - 'I'll rise' is the best on the album. Harper deffinately deserves more recognition.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just beautiful, 31 May 2001
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
THis is honestly worth buying just for waiting on an angel, which i think is the only song that has ever made me cry purely on the basis of its beauty. there are other similarly heartfelt gems on here, and these easily out weigh the less convincing rockier tracks (mama's got a girlfirend now is almost cringeworthy) certainly not an album you can be disappointed with.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars moments of genius, 12 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
Two songs on this record are in my alltime top ten,walk away and forever, a few other tracks do well but if you like mr.harper you'll realise that you simply have to own all the albums and skip to your favourite tracks depending on your frame of mind.p.s roses from my friends on live from mars is outstanding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Harper most underrated Genius, 25 Jan 2012
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
WOW buy this now...I've had it for over 12 years...just buying for a someone...what a treat she has in store! :-)))!Welcome To The Cruel World
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - just wow, 6 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
After hearing a few songs by Ben Harper, I was amazed at how wonderful his music is, and how diverse his styles are. I promptly went and bought all of his albums, and I was not disappointed with any of them. My favorite would have to be Welcome to the Cruel World, simply for the amazingness of The Three Of Us, Waiting on an Angel, Forever and Walk Away. You can't just hear Ben Harper - you have to pay him all your attention and really listen to his music and you will realise how fantastic he is - the beauty of his songs make me want to cry - they will bring so many emotions to anyone who listens to them. Ben Harper is not someone to miss - he will go down in history for his fantasicness. I can not stress how brilliant Ben Harper is, and I am shocked that he is not better known - the rest of the world is missing out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great value, will use, 26 July 2014
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
Fast postage, great value, will use again
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lone voice?, 25 Feb 2004
This review is from: Welcome To The Cruel World (Audio CD)
The full range of Harper's influences doesn't come to bear until some of his later albums, but this debut lays a strong foundation.
"Like a King" and "Take That Attitude to Your Grave" burn with a political conviction rarely heard during the 1990s. "Forever" has a tenderness which demonstrates Harper's emotional range. The guts to have a first track made entirely of simple guitar chords speaks volumes for how Harper resents pandering to a mass audience. If we dont have the patience, neither does he.

Ben closes the album with a song that frequently closes his concerts, "I'll Rise." This song, built around Maya Angelou's 1979 poem "And Still I Rise," reminds us of art's ability to pierce through society, self, and the soul.
An assured and poignant indictment of a modern way of living.
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Welcome To The Cruel World
Welcome To The Cruel World by Ben Harper (Audio CD - 1994)
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