Welcome To The Cruel World (25th Anniversary edition)
“The full range of Ben Harper’s influences would not come to bear until later albums, but his debut, Welcome to the Cruel World, 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. Lackluster hippie jams that cultivated his early following may have served a purpose but feel fluffy by comparison when compared to the meatier tracks. 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 one of art’s ability to pierce through society, self, and the soul” – Allmusic