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Ben Harper – Sexual Healing (Live)

My goal when writing about music is often to be as reductive as possible.  That’s partially for you the reader, and partly for me.  While I probably can’t write 3000 words on the new album from The XX, I also doubt you’d want to read a treatise like that.  My goal is to make a comparison, fit the album into a specific task (driving, partying, drinking, having sex), and leave it to the reader to make a judgment on both the song and my opinion of it.  It’s a difficult task, to be sure – telling people why it is I love a song or an album.  In truth, it’s probably easier to talk about why it is I don’t love something than the opposite.

But then there are times, like with this song, where I can point to a specific portion – here it’s the 2 seconds about 25 seconds in – when Ben Harper sings “baby.”  It just fucking melts me.  This isn’t because I like this cover better than Marvin Gaye’s original, because I don’t.  But I do like this version, and I like it more because it reminds me that I am privileged to be able to write about that which I love.  When I hear those two seconds – and myriad others throughout music – I realize that the entire process more transcendent than what I could ever say about it.

Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals – Sexual Healing (Live) (mp3) from Live from Mars