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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Sound of Sunshine
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
First I like to say that my wife and I have over 1,000 albums from various genres, but Michael Franti has a special place in our hearts. He gives every bit of himself into his music and truly cares about people. Don't you want to be listening to someone who is trying to change the world and does it by living by example? Who inspires you to do the same? How do I know this? Because I just saw him in concert here in Austin, TX last Wednesday.

He first held a contest, giving free two tickets away, and letting the women who won introduce him and the band. Then he took a tired over worked crowd and got them jumping. He gave everyone of his band a place in the spotlight. As his love spread like wildfire throughout the crowd, he took a three year old little boy named Milo on stage. Milo and Michael danced and sang. He called out to the grandmothers in the balcony,he played his guitar throughout the crowd, he paid a special notice to the people in the back and got on a platform and played in front of them, he got a family on stage and got dad shaking, he sang from his heart, and ended the night with a choir of kids dancing and singing on stage. I've never seen someone who gave so much of himself to lighten the hearts and minds of people. I could only put it on par as what a Bob Marley show would be like. This man is a prophet of love and light that has found the thread that connects us all and doesn't care about money, but people. On that note about the album:

The Sound of Sunshine is an ode to the thankfulness of being alive and being thankful for those life's treasures, those individuals around you. He explained at the show that he almost died on tour from a infection from a ruptured appendix. It brought him to his knees in humility and thankfulness for his life and how short it really is...
The Sound of Sunshine is an story of inspiration that shines into the darkness of this world, with a hope of something greater than lives within us all.....if we can only dream, believe, try, work, and become....

I am a father of 3 and when this world brings me down...this album give me the encouragement to pick myself up to finish my degree and remember how short this all is...what am I giving to others? What am I leaving behind?
What do I want people to remember me as...

But don't take my word for it....experience it for yourself!

Don't give up on yourself or those around you...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
As you can hear Michael Franti and Spearhead keep evolving as seen in this latest release. The music and lyrics are personal (as always) and you can feel that they're at a great place in their lives. Not as political as in other releases but this is almost a political statement in itself as America is being torn apart by extremism. This is a beautiful album, if I had a complaint it would be that it is to short at 43 minutes. Some of the previous reviews give low ratings due to the evolution of the band, this argument doesn't hold water if you understand that it's a story of life, love and compassion. This is a must own album for the hardcore or casual Spearhead fans.
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51 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I'd like to start off by saying that this album sounds great. It's well produced and for what they are, the songs aren't bad. It's nice to listen to

At the same time, I have a feeling that anyone who's been listening to Michael Franti for more than the last 18 months or so might be deeply disappointed. This is not similar to the thoughtful, driving music they used to do. Unfortunately this CD is pretty much forgettable commercial fluff. There's nothing of real value in here that's going to stick to your mind which really is a shame, because the earlier material, while not quite as catchy and radio-ready, really was very very intelligent. This is the polar opposite of his work with Disposable Heroes. Unfortunately, the introduction a lot of people had to his music was most likely with the song "Say Hey". It's a really catchy song and I'm happy for them to have finally broken through. However, I suspect that most people who are really into "Say Hey" would be really disappointed with the amazing concept album "Stay Human". While I understand that there's room for both, it would be nice to have seen both represented. Franti is an interesting guy politically and I think that coming on the heels of a successful single, this would have been a great opportunity to mingle some fluff with some thought, hopefully expanding on the fan base that's been loyal to this group for years. It's a shame, but this album is probably going to bring more parrotheads than thinkers out of the woodwork.

On one hand, I'm happy for the band because they've worked hard for this. On the other hand, this album is going to make it really hard to take Michael Franti and Spearhead seriously in the future as anything more than another commercial outfit.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The entire album is very predictable, both lyrically and musically. Where did the soul go? His political views, which layered his lyrics of old are all but gone. The spacing and arrangements that made his voice and sound so textured are no longer there. What happened to his baritone? His albums are starting to sound a lot alike and too polished. Not his best effort.

I'm listening to John Legend & The Roots new album which is layered in old soul and funky grooves and then I listen to this and I'm disappointed. Like most of Franti's songs, they will sound better live.

Strip it down and get back to basics, but then again when you go mainstream that's hard to do. He's gaining a lot of new fans, but the old ones will be let down...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Michael Franti & Spearhead's sound is a combination of Folk, Soul, Hip Hop, Reggae, and Rock. Opening is the title track, a bouncy Folk number with a rapped bridge and rich harmonies (appearing again in a more languid version "The sound of sunshine going down" at the end of the album). Similarly bouncy is "Love don't wait".

"Shake it" is Reggae with a groovy bassline as are "Anytime you need me", and "The only thing missing was you". "Hey hey hey" is a jangly Rock song with stomping beats and a message encouraging hope in the face of adversity. "The thing that helps me get through" is a more upbeat Rock song with a funky edge.

Franti's smooth relaxed vocals are perfectly showcased on the midtempo "I'll be waiting", the ballad "Gloria", and the tender acoustic "Headphones". If you like this, check out Talk About (Dig) by Mishka.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
If you've never been to a mind-blowing Spearhead show, check out "The Sound of Sunshine." From the radio-friendly California summer-jam title track, the disc leads into an All Rebel Rockers style dance-hall Jamaican "Shake it" and continues with "Hey Hey Hey" and "Anytime you Need Me" two tracks that could easily have been on Yell Fire or Everyone Deserves Music. A solid get up and dance intro. From there Franti heads into some newish ground with a straight-up rock song, back to old-school reggae and then brings it around to another summer-jam soon to be hit "Love Don't Wait." Another dabble in straight-up rock, and then some nice smooth bring-it-down tunes. Nice! This is obviously another love song album, not seen since Songs From the Front Porch: An Acoustic Collection His overt politics are sadly and conspicuously missing, but maybe after 3 hardcore political albums a little break for some positive vibes is needed. Recommended for fans and newbies alike!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
"All Rebel Rockers" ran the full spectrum of thoughts and emotions (as conveyed musically), and did so very well. And who doesn't like "Say hey?"

Perhaps that album set the bar too high, because this follow-up disappoints. Sure, it's a more upbeat album overall (understandable, given the circumstances under which the songs were written), and there's nothing wrong with that. But the execution is lacking - somehow the songs here seam weak in comparison to the previous album.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Michael Franti and Spearhead has done it again! What a great album. From the first cut to the last this is a GREAT ride! Not as political as some of the earlier music but beautiful and positive. I too wish it was released earlier..a feel good summertime vibe. This will win new fans for Franti and gives us longtime fans new music to add to out collection.
BUY this cd! You will love it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Great summer album that will now be helping me keep the winter blues away. Love this man and his positive message. Lots of good hooks with an overall mellow vibe. Will be getting a lot of airplay on my iPod.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Great musician but this album just comes across as lazy. Is this what happens? The material sounds dull and lifeless, not pushed and developed. Shame on someone this good. Tunes barely qualify as background ambiance. Disappointing.
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