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Taken from http://www.billboard.com/bb/reviews/album_exclusives_article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000587015 - Billboard.com (July 27, 2004)

MICHAEL FRANTI, "Songs From the Front Porch: An Acoustic Collection"

by Jeff Vrabel

Album Title: Songs From the Front Porch: An Acoustic Collection
Producer(s): Michael Franti
Genre: ROCK
Label/Catalog Number: Boo Boo Wax
Source: Billboard.com
Originally Reviewed: July 27, 2004

With Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, the Vader-voiced rapper Michael Franti tore into racial and social injustice in the thick of a chaotic storm of noise, proclaiming himself a "socio-genetic experiment" and lashing out at all manner of politicians and prejudices.

With Spearhead, his topics stayed urgently potent, even as his music grew organic. With last year's sterling "Everyone Deserves Music," Franti seemed to have begun making peace with his demons, crafting what sounded like his own personal "What's Going On." And with this acoustic collection, he completes his linear journey, using only a guitar and a smattering of extra tools to create a sound as far removed from Disposable as one can possibly get.

"Front Porch" contains material from Franti's previous solo and Spearhead records, but the calmer surroundings let tracks like "Yes I Will" and "Stay Human" enjoy the chance to breathe, and add a sparkling sense of acoustic funk to "Ganja Babe" and "Firefly." "Hate is what got me here, but I know that love sweet love is gonna set me free," Franti sings as if to close a chapter of his book, and it's a story that's been rarely less than compelling.




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