Both Sides of the Gun, is a Ben Harper album released in 2006. Split into two discs, the title suggests the two sides of Harper's musical nature. The first disc ("White") is made of mostly acoustic and string-driven songs hinted at on the last track ("She's Only Happy In The Sun") of Harper's previous album Diamonds on the Inside. The second disc ("Black") is made up of the more rock and upbeat material and touching on genres such as hard rock, funk and gospel.
A number of tracks on "Both Sides of the Gun" crackle with intensity and outrage over the political climate in the United States, particularly "Black Rain," the lyrics to which Harper posted last September on his official Web site. The cut lashes out at President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, proclaiming, "Don't speak to us like we work for you / Selling false hope like some new dope we're addicted to / I'm not a desperate man but these are desperate times at hand / This generation is beyond your command."
The first disc delves into a variety of styles, from the swaggering, Black Crowes-style rocker "Get It Like You Like It" to the raw blues of "The Way You Found Me" and the slow-burning, largely instrumental jam "Serve Your Soul" that closes the side.
The second half of "Both Sides" is a much quieter, intimate affair. It opens with the wistful, string-addled ballad "Morning Yearning" and moving on to the Nick Drake-influenced solo guitar confessional "More Than Sorry" and the unabashedly sentimental closer "Happy Everafter in Your Eyes," an ode to Harper's wife, actress Laura Dern.
The album saw Harper playing the majority of the instruments on both discs; an approach that he had rarely used on his previous albums. However, the Innocent Criminals would appear on a few tracks whilst his later band, Relentless7, would appear together for the first time on "Serve Your Soul", the last track on the second disc.
The album became Harper's first US top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 200 album charts, peaking at number seven. As of April 2007, it has sold 126,000 copies in United States.
Label: Virgin 50999 2 67928 1 1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Limited Edition
Style: Alternative Rock
A1 Morning Yearning
A2 Waiting For You
A3 Picture In A Frame
A4 Never Leave Lonely Alone
A5 Sweet Nothing Serenade
B1 Reason To Mourn
B2 More Than Sorry
B3 Crying Won't Help You Now
B4 Happy Everafter In Your Eyes
C1 Better Way
C2 Both Sides Of The Gun
C3 Engraved Invitation
C4 Black Rain
D1 Gather 'Round The Stone
D2 Please Don't Talk About Murder While I'm Eating
D3 Get It Like You Like It
D4 The Way You Found Me
D5 Serve Your Soul