Ben Harper's Both Sides of the Gun is a double-disc masterpiece. It features a variety of music styles and covers an array of subjects. Harper - who plays every instrument on the album - makes his music sexy and compassionate. Some musicians sound pretentious or shallow when they sing about war and politics, but Harper's words flow naturally. No matter the subject, his songs sound genuine and uplifting. The first disc contains songs that deal with relationships and feelings such as love and loneliness. Opening track Morning Yearning is a beautiful song to start the day, while the instrumental track Sweet Nothing Serenade is soft and soothing. There are also songs with a melancholic tinge, such as Picture In a Frame - an outstanding and heartfelt track. Harper deals with worldly issues on the second disc. The music is darker and heavier, with a stronger focus on guitars and drums. Gather 'Round the Stone is a criticism of America's war on Iraq, while Black Rain is an elegy about the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Both Sides of the Gun proves that music is more than a means of self-expression. It can help us reflect on our lives and show us a better way to live.