Michael Franti and Spearhead
Audio CD (September 21, 2010)
Original Release Date: September 21, 2010
Number of Discs: 1
Product Description: The Sound Of Sunshine - the inspired and inspiring new album by Michael Franti And Spearhead - is a kind of musical sun shower, a bright, beautiful and often buoyant song cycle created to bring all kinds of listeners a sense of hope during rough and rainy times for so many in our world. In the mid-Nineties, Franti first formed Spearhead, and increasingly in recent years, he's found his own voice musically and his own organic brand of popular success.
1. The Sound Of Sunshine (Album Version)
2. Shake It featuring Lady Saw
3. Hey Hey Hey
4. Anytime You Need Me
5. I'll Be Waiting
6. Only Thing Missing Was You
7. Love Don't Wait
8. The Thing That Helps Me Get Through
9. Gloria featuring Cherine Anderson
11. The Sound Of Sunshine Going Down
Biography: “Music is sunshine,” says Michael Franti, one of the most positive and conscious artists in music today. “Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood. Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose. “Music is something you can’t hold in your hands, smell it, taste it or even see it, yet somehow just coming together and feeling these little vibrations that tickle our eardrums can somehow lift us all up out of our most difficult moments in life to unimaginable heights.”
Franti’s singularly open spirit reflects his own eclectic and intriguing background. Michael was born to an Irish-German-French mother and an African American and American Indian father in Oakland, then adopted by a Finnish American couple who raised him along with their three biological children and another African American son. While studying at the University of San Francisco, Franti formed the punk band The Beatnigs, and later the far more hip hop-inflected The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Through it all, Franti has crossed all sorts of musical and physical boundaries in order to make music for everybody.
In the mid-Nineties, Franti first formed Spearhead, and increasingly in recent years, he’s found his own voice musically and his own organic brand of popular success. Franti and Spearhead’s last album, 2008’s All Rebel Rockers -- recorded in Jamaica with legendary producers and players Sly and Robbie – became the biggest hit of Franti’s career, hitting the Top 40 on the Billboard 200, and yielded his biggest hit, the Top 20 “Say Hey (I Love You).”
The recording process for The Sound Of Sunshine reflects Franti’s desire to communicate directly with his audience. “We started in Jamaica actually recording a bunch of tracks with Sly and Robbie who are, of course, great, and we used some of those tracks. Then we got home and started mixing the record. Then I went to Bali and wrote some more songs, but we still didn’t have it finished. So we said let’s bring a portable studio on the road with us. We’d literally recorded the drums in the locker room of the Toronto Raptors or in the shower of some NHL team. Then we’d go right onstage and play the song and see how other people would react to it. We’d see what worked and go back and record it again the next day. So these songs have really been road tested in front of live bodies.”
My take: As a fan of Michael Franti's "Say Hey (I Love You)" I was eager to check out some more of his music. I don't know exactly how you would classify his music - it's kind of reggae, kind of dance, but not really. I read that USA Today said this album in particular is "full of Festival-friendly reggae pop grooves and radiant hope-filled songs." Regardless of how you want to classify Michael's music, you will come away from this album with a smile on your face. I asked to review it because I needed a little sunshine in my life and boy, did these songs ever deliver. I defy you to listen to his music without tapping along with the beat (with the exception of the few slower songs, like "Headphones"). My daughter's favorite is SHAKE IT; me, I love the title track. We have listened to this entire album over and over again, and it never gets old. A few of these are going on my work out play list for sure. If you are looking for a fun way to pick up your day (or week or month), take a listen to "Sound of Sunshine" today! See below for how to win your very own copy.
The giveaway: One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Sound of Sunshine(US Address only please)!
To win: Leave a comment here telling me the name of someone else in the Spearhead band. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment if you are not a blogger or your email is not easily found on your blog. This giveaway is open until 11:59 p.m., EST, Thursday, May 12, 2011. Good Luck!
Bonus entries: Get up to 8 extra entries for a total of 9 entries (please leave a separate comment for each extra entry):
• Like Michael Franti on Facebook and leave a comment on his wall that includes "CPA Mom sent me" (leave a comment here with your FB name-first name only is fine)
• Follow Michael Franti on Twitter (leave a comment here with your twitter id)
• Blog about this giveaway (don't forget to leave the link in your comment here)
• Twitter, Stumble or Digg this giveaway (be sure to use @CPAMom in your tweet)
• Subscribe to my blog via RSS or Email (see top left sidebar)
• Add my blog to your blogroll or my button to your sidebar (leave your website address for verification)
• On Technorati - click on this link, then on Fan or Fav (or use the green link on the top left sidebar)
• Follow me on Google Friend Connect (see top left sidebar)
This post was written for Team Mom and EMI who provided the CD for review and giveaway. I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary CD.
I am proud to be a member of Team Mom's "Music Moms" who sponsored this review.