Sage Francis
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The Anticon collective nursed the talent of frenzied rapper Paul "Sage" Francis, the best lyricist of his generation, whose Personal Journals (2002), marked by a "straight-edge" philosophy of life and produced by the Anticon squad (Alias, Sixtoo, Jel, Odd Nosdam, etc), and A Healthy Distrust (2005), an angrier vocal assault that evoked vintage Public Enemy, became the classics of "emo hip-hop", his interference of political and personal discourses enhanced by a new generation of beatmakers and producers.

Hope (2003), credited to the Non-Prophets (a duo with Joe Beats), indulges in more traditional hip-hop.

Road Tested (2006) is a live album.

Still Sickly Business (2006) collects and reprocesses material that was originally released on limited-edition albums (the "Sick" series, from 2000 till 2004).

The highlights of Human The Death Dance (Epitaph, 2007) are the production of Odd Nosdam and Alias (notably the noir atmosphere of Going Back to Rehab), and the (too) brief compositions by Mark Isham (Good Fashion and Waterline). Francis' lyrics abandon the political overtones of A Healthy Distrust (2005) and return to the domestic sphere while several songs seem to distance themselves from hip-hop.

Human the Death Dance (2007) relied mainly on the work of the producers: Buck 65 (Got Up This Morning), Odd Nosdam (Underground for Dummies), Alias (Keep Moving) and none less than Mark Isham (Good Fashion and Waterline).

Li(f)e (2010) collects songs co-written with an army of rock songwriters: Tim Fite (Worry Not), Yann Tiersen (The Best of Times), Calexico's Joey Burns and John Convertino (Slow Man), Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla (Three Sheets to the Wind), Grandaddy's Jason Lytle (Little Houdini), Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous (Love the Lie) and Califone's Tim Rutili (The Baby Stays). His "rock" album, however, is a modest work compared with his non-rock albums.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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