Release Date – 2014
Label – Independent
- The Nature Of Things ( Overture ) / The Truth Will Set You Free
- Now That I Found You
- Winding Road
- Monarch Butterfly
- Tin Man
- Whipping Post
- We Live Once To Fly
- Cosmic Dancer
- My Eyes
- The Nature Of Things ( Interlude )
- Love And Grace
- Mama Taught You
- I Like To Talk
- Grace Falls
- Never Had A Love
- The Nature Of Things
- Ben E. Hunter – Guitar, Vocals
- Cheryl N. Woods – Vocals
- Kelly Love Jones – Guitar, Vocals
Reviewed in OffBeat
Robert Fontenot (August 2014 Issue)
Acoustic albums, even reggae ones, don’t usually open with a swell of fake horns, strings and female vocals that make you think some vintage James Bond movie is coming on—but, then again, that’s Ben E. Hunter’s statement of purpose.
He may paint his portraits with a few simple tools but his emotional canvas is large indeed, as befits someone going around calling himself the Soul Avenger. A practicing Rastafarian, he’s probably being metaphorical when he talks about cutting, shooting and then resurrecting you in the opener, “The Truth Will Set You Free,” and that sense of quiet depth pervades these 20 tracks, which are mostly about celebrating the power of love—not necessarily the healing of romance, although that’s in here too, but the whole moral arc of the universe thing.
The idea of cosmic love winning out is a rare one these days, and there are times when Hunter—whose vocal style lands somewhere between a smoother Richie Havens and a lower-register Neville—seems like a relic from a bygone era. Titles of “Tin Man,” “Whipping Post” and “Cosmic Dancer” don’t refer to any thoughts but his own.
And his three rhythms get old after a while, making it hard to tell where one statement ends and another begins. Yet, Hunter gets his vibe across through pure, honest simplicity, and even if you’re aware of the nature of things—that the ghetto’s playgrounds have fallen apart, or that lovers can be fickle, or money corrupts—then you may just be glad to hear such a calm and friendly reminder you’re not alone in such awareness.