Michael Franti & Spearhead - Sound Of Sunshine
Michael Franti far exceeded my expectations on his last album, All Rebel Rockers. That's a bit of a curse as well because when it came time for his new album, The Sound Of Sunshine, my expectations had been raised very high. Upon first listen I had nothing for this album, I couldn't see myself really moving beyond Rebel Rockers. But given a few listens the charm began to unfold and I found a soft spot for this fun album. Even lower profile songs like "The thing that helps me get through" are driving and strong, more rock song than anything else.
I found that Franti is a nice mix of Ben Harper and reggae. I'm not a huge Harper fan but Franti's mix of genres has really matured nicely. Sure, there are love songs that might not really have much meat but then again, some of the greatest songs are written about love interests.
He dives in full bore with the dance hall stylings of "Shake It", not much more than a party song but man, does he do it well.
Franti owes a lot to U2's The Edge for the echoey guitar in "I'll Be Waiting". Does that mean the song sucks? Absolutely not. It's a very inspiration track and is fun too. Franti sings "The Best things in life are things, they're living and breathing", something that all of us need to stop and think about. Stop buying things and start living.
The Sound of Sunshine maybe second to his previous album, All Rebel Rockers but if you give this a bit of a chance then you will reveal a lovely and fun, diverse album. Michael Franti has just risen on my "must see live" list.
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