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The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead

Michael Franti & Spearhead

The Sound of Sunshine

Release Date: Sep 21, 2010

Genre(s): Reggae, Pop/Rock, Alternative Rap, Contemporary Reggae

Record label: Capitol


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Album Review: The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead

Fairly Good, Based on 7 Critics

Entertainment Weekly - 79
Based on rating B+

This lefty Bay Area rapper had a surprise 2009 hit with the light-hearted, reggae-tinged ”Say Hey (I Love You).” The follow-up album sets evocations of hard-won happiness to similarly strummy, globally grooved ? hip-hop. On The Sound of Sunshine, ”I’ll Be Waiting” reaches for U2 grandeur, but Michael Franti is best as an amiable neo-Marley busker, asking for change, love, and maybe one more shot at crossover gold. B+ Download These:The title track, a spiritual wake-up call The Sound of Sunshine at amazon.comDance-pop redemption song Hey Hey Hey at amazon.com See all of this week’s reviews .

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Paste Magazine - 75
Based on rating 7.5/10

Franti finds his lost shaker of salt Michael Franti has achieved a secret bonus level of hippie not available to most folks. He’s barefoot whenever not on a plane, organizes a massive annual festival of music and yoga, shot an anti-war documentary in the Middle East, is from the Bay Area, gets you a water when you interview him and produces, both alone and with Spearhead, soaringly crunchy love-is-all reggae-rock. A few minutes with a Franti record and the Indigo Girls start looking like Coulter and Michelle Bachmann.

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AllMusic - 70
Based on rating 7/10

With a chorus that’s bubbly, a hook that’s infectious, and a title that’s “Hey Hey Hey,” the key track on Michael Franti’s 2010 effort is wide open for ridicule, but on the cut, the man who once seemed like Gil Scott-Heron for the techno generation makes an excellent argument for happiness. “Hey, hey, hey/No matter how life is today/There’s just one thing that I got to say/I won’t let another moment slip away” it goes, and while that’s coming from a man who just had his first hit -- and in the U. S.

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PopMatters - 40
Based on rating 4/10

Never trust a hippie. They’ll sell you out more quickly than you can possibly imagine. In one of his classic Generation X neologisms, Douglas Coupland writes that a contemporary member of this subculture can be described as a Bleeding Ponytail: “an elderly sold out baby boomer who pines for hippie or pre-sellout days”. The values fostered by the baby boomers have bled into a postmodern era perfused with the empty signs of hypercapitalist mass conformity (or whatever).

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BBC Music
Opinion: Very Good

Makes good on the promise of its undeniably appetising title. Nick Levine 2011 Michael Franti is a gift to the Wikipedia-editing pedant. Born to an Irish-German-French mother and part African-American, part Native American father, before being adopted at birth by a Finnish American couple based in Oakland, California, he's spent his 45 years forging a career as perhaps the planet's only poet-cum-peace campaigner-cum-philosopher who concurrently fronts a six-piece hip-hop-reggae fusion outfit while extolling the virtues of a vegan lifestyle and strolling through life, wherever possible, without wearing any shoes.

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American Songwriter
Opinion: Fairly Good

One of the few pop artists with a “health & fitness” page on his website, Michael Franti has always been driven by a missionary zeal that goes beyond the music. He is an outspoken peace activist–he took it upon himself to fly to Baghdad to witness the devastation of the Iraq occupation first-hand–and his reputation often precedes his creative work. The bulk of this 2010 release was written while Franti was in the hospital recuperating from a burst appendix, and not surprisingly, a theme of gratitude pervades the album.

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Austin Chronicle
Opinion: Average

Michael Franti the political activist is dead. The Sound of Sunshine, the bulk of which the Bay Area singer and MC wrote while recovering from a burst appendix, follows in the manner of last summer's top of the pops, "Say Hey (I Love You)." Expressing the simplest emotions through a sprightly mix of reggae and rock, Franti works the laid-back buzz of Jack Johnson, dosing it with just enough Lenny Kravitz to make it palatable. Facing his maker, he addresses the joys of life in a way that barely skirts cliché yet is bolstered by insistent beats aimed at the body so that the mind must follow.

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