The beauty of gospel is its ability to swim against the mainstream current by embracing maturity and experience as valued commodities. Yet traditionalist notions are precisely what make Ben Harper's collaboration with the masterful Blind Boys of Alabama a mixed bag. Harper, a young, high-ranking acolyte in the Church of the Endless Jam, is supported by a healthy, faithful congregation, but here his precocious presence is dwarfed by the Blind Boys. Their soulful harmonies dominate cuts such as "There Will Be a Light" and "Take My Hand," leaving Harper in the corner, unable to summon the punch that the task demands. The best moments come when Harper steps back -- as on Bob Dylan's "Well, Well, Well" -- and lets the Blind Boys evoke a haunting reverence. Maybe with enough time -- it's taken the Blind Boys of Alabama only 65 years or so -- Harper, too, will reach that level of prayerful meditation.