BLOWING UP: Michael Franti & Spearhead

Colin Farrell has already started growing the dreads to portray him in a biopic ten years from now.

With Nostradumus-like precision, I will now predict the future of music…

I feel like I need to write this.  In February 2009, I heard Phoenix’s “1901,” the new single from a band I had never heard of.  It was brilliant, pure pop perfection, and I quickly deemed it to be the biggest song that would come out that year.  I told all my friends, especially my roommate, whose musical opinion I value highly.  He balked at it, saying he was unimpressed by the song.  In fact, none of my friends cared, and in the end I was left alone to enjoy the genius song that I had randomly stumbled upon…

Flash forward, 2010 starts and the biggest radio-friendly song is “1901,” featured in car commercials and the like, while Phoenix is the most successful band of the year.  This is only one of ten different stories I have about myself recognizing the future potential of a new song (that sounds pretentious!) and having nobody believe me.  It’s also one of the reasons I decided to start a blog, as a way for me to tell the world what I realized about music as I realized it.  Well I’m going to do it now, so listen up, kids!

Michael Franti has been at the music game for a very long time, but with very little success.  His work has been critically acclaimed, but commercially disappointing.  Though I must say I strongly dislike his early hip hop tendencies, I do like the reggae stuff he’s done with his band, Spearhead, in the last five years.  It’s like he finally found what he was truly great at, sounding like a reggae-influenced G. Love, but with a more earth-conscious message.  Now he’s releasing his umpteenth album, and there is at least one song that is going to break through.  “The Sound of Sunshine,” while also being the name of the album, is the track that will take Michael Franti nationwide.

This song is radio-ready piece of pop perfection.  It mixes:

-Jack Johnson

-newer Jason Mraz

-Gym Class Heroes style rap

-a strong beat

-and uplifting sunny lyrics

“The Sound of Sunshine” will quickly become exactly what the entire country wants to hear in the next few months, once “California Gurlz” and “Billionaire” fade from the charts.  It’s interesting to notice the sunny correlation between the indieverse and the mainstream this year.  While every new song on the radio is playing with rap over sunny reggae, the underground is moving to the beach, with every new band emerging having some kind of summery love attached to its name and/or sound.  The words “coast,” “beach,” “warm,” sun,” “surf,” and “wav(v)es” have never gotten the use they have these last two years.  It’s starting to get a bit played out, but at least the music is still fun.  Now go warm up by the waves on the coast to the sound of the sun and its shine…

Michael Franti & Spearhead – The Sound of Sunshine

Go buy his last album from ze myspaces!


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