Taken from The Daily Aztec (October 14, 2003)
Tempo Story - The Daily Aztec - Tempo
by Matt Skinner
You won't hear Spearhead on the radio. It hasn't had a music videoon MTV since the mid-'90s. Because its newest album, EveryoneDeserves Music, was released on an independent label, you might havea hard time tracking down a copy at your local record store. YetSpearhead, including lead singer Michael Franti, has a remarkablystrong following and performs at packed venues all year round.
Positivity. Love. Peace. These are the messages woven intoSpearhead's afro-Cuban, reggae, rock and hip-hop-influenced music."Conscious Music for the Masses" is the theme here and Franti rhymesand signs about topics ranging from personal and family issues topolitics, globalization and war. After listening to a Spearhead albumor attending a Spearhead show, listeners are left with feelings ofoptimism and unity rarely paralleled with more mainstream music.Franti's music exudes positivity like the sun radiates warmth.
On Stay Human, Spearhead's previous album, Michael Franti sings,"To rhyme without a real reason is to claim but not to practice areligion." Continuing the tradition of writing music that deals withsalient global issues, Franti wrote the popular anti-war song, "Bombthe World" that proclaims, "We can bomb the world to pieces, but wecan't bomb it into peace."
But the work of Spearhead is much more than well-written choruses.It's hip- moving, hand-clapping, head-bobbing,sing-out-loud-in-your-car-at-a-stop-sign soulful music that unitesand welcomes everyone with an ear for good vibes.
Some of the highlights of Everyone Deserves Music are "What I Be,""We Don't Stop" (featuring Gift of Gab from Blackalicious), the titletrack "Everyone Deserves Music," the anti-war "Bomb the World" andreggae-influenced "Pray for Grace." San Francisco-based MichaelFranti and Spearhead have once again crafted an album that has thecapability to change the world and influence one's outlook on lifesimultaneously.