Michael Franti prays for grace

By
October 2, 2003

Michael Franti’s latest release Everyone Deserves Music is an
eclectic mix of tunes with positive and political undertones. The
overall feel of the album is a hybrid of happy hippy music infused
with weak Afro-centric beats.

Franti is very inclusive in style and genre and seems to attempt
a hip-hop sound in We Don’t Stop with anti-war sentiments and
solutions for a new and better world. The lyrics of this song had a
hard hitting hip-hop attitude, yet the beat was lacking in this
area.

Bomb The World was the most moving piece in this collection. The
lyrical content was poetic and thoughtful; Franti says, “We can
bomb the world to pieces but we can’t bomb the world to peace.”
This track is remixed in drums and bass as the last track.

Other notable tracks were Franti’s reggae addition Pray For
Grace. Love Invincible was an uplifting dance/house track that
would most likely be heard in a gay boy club or on the Queer as
Folk soundtrack. Crazy Three Times had more lyrical content than
most songs on this album, as Franti raises awareness about
injustice and sings phrases of equality.

Unfortunately, the title track of the album Everyone Deserves
Music was least notable in this collection. If ever you were to
have a “kum ba ya” moment, this song would be it. Love Why Did You
Go Away, a melancholy love song, and Feelin Free, a laid back chill
tune, came out sounding like knock offs of Lenny Kravitz. Not to
say Lenny Kravitz sounds bad, but wouldn’t you rather have the real
deal?

Overall the album was shallow. Franti veered away from getting
too deep into any one political issue and instead tried to glide
over issues by giving one liners on the war in Iraq and poor people
in the U.S. In every song dealing with these issues, he quickly
diverts the listeners attention to sentiments of love and peace for
everyone.

Musically, he does well with keeping listeners guessing; you
never know what you are going to get every time the track changes.
However, instead of giving listeners a strong identity in the
music, you are never sure what you are listening to. It turns into
a mushy pot of watered-down “kind of sort of” black music in the
end. This leaves true fans of any of the genres of reggae, hip-hop,
house, drums and bass jazz and funk wondering what exactly it is
that they are listening to. Franti seems to be attempting to create
a work with the variety of Manu Chao, yet lacks the skill to do it
well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Michael Franti prays for grace was published on October 2, 2003 in Arts & Entertainment

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