THIS is an album almost undone by variety - there are so many styles here that coherence is stretched to twanging point.

Yet Harper is accomplished across all the musical forms he adopts, which goes some way to calming any possible confusion. First up is With My Own Two Hands, a Jamaican throb of reggae, after which Harper switches between folk-blues, George Clinton-style funk and rock. Reggae and funk incursions work well enough, with only the rockier numbers stumbling - yet Harper's strongest suit remains the beautiful, heartfelt ballad. And there are some truly lovely examples here, from the country-tinged titled track, through When She Believes to Amen Omen, a hymn to an ending relationship. There are surges of spirituality too, with Blessed To Be A Witness and the haunting gospel of Picture Of Jesus, an a cappella song with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Updated: 10:37 Thursday, March 20, 2003