Michael Franti and Spearhead, "The Sound of Sunshine"

Album Review
3.5

You can't really blame Michael Franti for titling one track on his new studio album "Hey Hey Hey." After all, it was "Say Hey (I Love You)," from 2008's "All Rebel Rockers," that finally brought this Bay Area rabble-rouser his first commercial hit after 20 years of music-making with the Beatnigs, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and Spearhead. No harm in trying again, right? Accordingly, Franti sticks to the good-natured beachside vibe of "Say Hey" throughout "The Sound of Sunshine," which should please fans of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and the lighter work of Manu Chao. On "All Rebel Rockers," Franti used his party-starting music to address issues of social justice, but here the mood is more personal than political: "I love the way you shake that little extra bit of butter," he sings on "Shake It," an uptempo duet with Jamaican reggae singer Lady Saw.

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