TBT: The Sound of Sunshine Review

This write up is from September 2010, and I thought it also needed to be posted today. I’m still savoring Franti’s “All People” so the review will come in the next few days.

Have you HEARD The Sound of Sunshine yet? If your answer is no, you have to go listen to it right now. You can do so here.

Are you back yet? Did you open it in another window and have it playing at the moment? OK, good. As you might guess, this a must-buy album.

Michael Franti & Spearhead hit the Top 40 nation with his single “Say Hey” from his last album All Rebel Rockers. From the moment that song became a hit, Franti & Spearhead took flight. Talk about seizing the moment! I remember reading about him in a CA newspaper about a year ago, he was asked about working on new material and he said something along the lines of “…Our single ‘Say Hey’ is now in the Top 40. Since that’s blowing up, we’re trying to stay out on the road.”

Turns out, they didn’t need to stop performing to create a new album. In fact, that’s exactly what they needed to keep doing. A lot of the songs in The Sound of Sunshine were completed on the road. Franti & Spearhead spent their winter as the opening act for John Mayer‘s Battle Studies tour. Perhaps the opportunity to perform for so many Mayer-lovers did a world of good, introducing Franti to many that otherwise wouldn’t be found as part of his audience.

This album is awesome. It’s full of hits. I started listening to it and after singing along with the already familiar title track, I went into the other songs and one by one they filled me up with pure happiness. Music can make you feel so good! Or as Franti puts it “Music can somehow lift us all up out of our most difficult moments in life to unimaginable heights.” With this album, you’ll want to memorize the lyrics instantly. Love songs, feel-good music, dance tunes, call them what you want. The positive lyrics and fun melodies in this album can make anyone feel better at the end of a rough day.

Granted, there are a couple of recycled lines in some of the songs, but you’ll only notice if you’re familiar with Franti’s music. The album has another sure hit for Franti containing “Hey” in the title– three times. “Love Don’t Wait”? Sing it to me, baby! I’m all over this album. There’s even a sunset version of the title track, it’s called “The Sound of Sunshine Going Down.” And makes a lovely alternate version to the fun hit.

This album is going to the top. A little less reggae and a little less rock than we’ve ever heard coming from Franti, while still keeping the essence of his message intact.

Go get this album now. I just did.

P.S. This review had nothing to do with my special affinity for barefoot rock stars.

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