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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Michael Franti & Spearhead

By Paula E. Kirman
Published November 13, 2008

All Rebel Rockers
Anti/Boo Boo Wax

Michael Franti is one of the poet laureates of the contemporary activist movement. His reggae and hip hop inspired beats provide a background for lyrics that are socially conscious and often painfully blunt about the current state of the world, politics, war, racism, and other issues. In Franti’s case, the music is the medium to speak out. All Rebel Rockers continues Franti’s tradition of mixing vocals that are a cross between spoken word and hip hop with folk-infused beats. The album was recorded in the country that inspires much of Franti’s style: Jamaica. He also collaborates with other artists who share his vision, such as Zap Mama. Co-produced by Franti with Matt Wallace and Sly & Rabbie, this album has more of a reggae and dub feel that some of his earlier work. Franti fans will not be disappointed, and those new to his work will quickly learn that this is music with both meaning and melody.