Music Reviews
The latest albums reviewed and rated

Michael Franti and Spearhead - All Rebel Rockers

1 comment

Rating: * * *

As always Michael Franti is politically motivated but the musician and poet is also spreading the word of love more than ever on his sixth album with band Spearhead. There's I Got Love For You which bounces along merrily, the party dancehall of Say Hey (I Love You) finds Franti taking on the Jamaican reggae pop style of Ziggy Marley; and the stunning All I Want Is You has a shuddering dub skank and a ghostly riff akin to the Police's Roxanne. It's love, love, love and a long way from the reactionary mood of his former industrial hip-hop bands the Beatnigs and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy.

Although, as the title suggests All Rebel Rockers isn't all warm fuzzies. The bass-laden stomper Soundsystem, with a tough Clash-like groove and chant of "Let the rhythm hit 'em", is one of the heaviest Spearhead songs yet.

Also on this album, Spearhead's catchy hip-hop and funk standards give way to a reggae and dancehall base with it being recorded in Jamaica by producers Sly & Robbie.

On Rude Boy's Back In Town, a song which almost stops many times thanks to the beautifully lazy beats, he name checks Tame Iti and Tuhoe; there's the lashing beats of A Little Bit of Riddim; and a world music influence on High Low where Franti duets with Congolese singer Marie Daulne from Zap Mama.

Michael Franti & Spearhead play at the Powerstation on October 7 and if All Rebel Rockers is anything to go by it will be a loved up and skanking show.

Scott Kara

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 31 Mar 2017 04:41:46 Processing Time: 649ms