Michael Franti Songs From The Front Porch

Michael Franti has made a career of stirring the waters of global politics and earth-bound spirituality, both as a Disposable Hero of Hiphoprisy and more recently with his band, Spearhead. On Songs From The Front Porch, the relentless political firebrand reaches back through the years and gives some of his most notable messages of peace, love and equality the acoustic treatment. Not surprisingly, socially conscious songs such as "Stay Human,” "Oh My God” and "Sometimes,” lend themselves completely to this form. Their words, at times, find renewed potency in the resulting space made possible by the understated instrumentation. The proceedings do move beyond the feeling of lazy summer soul that envelops the majority of the album with "Love Invincible,” raising the blood pressure a little with a universal call for love unconditional over a serving of acoustic house. For the most part, though, the album is musically reserved, allowing lines like, "I speak low but I’m like a lion roaring / baritone like a Robeson recordin’ / I’m givin’ thanks for bein’ human every morning…,” to shine brightly on centre stage. (Imusic)