Yell Fire

Yell Fire

by Michael Franti & SpearheadMichael Franti & Spearhead


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Michael Franti's worldview and his music are so tightly entangled that it's difficult to imagine one existing without the other. So none of his fans could have been all that surprised when Franti returned from a 2004 trip to war-torn regions of Iraq, Israel, and Palestine and subsequently released both I Know I'm Not Alone, a documentary film/DVD based on his travels, and Yell Fire!, his most socially conscious album to date. While Yell Fire! is nothing as precious as a concept album, neither is there a song on the lyrically direct set that doesn't find Franti driving home a point, be it on the precarious state of our planet and those who've rendered it so, or the fragile condition of human relationships and the urgency with which people need to repair them. Recorded in both Kingston, Jamaica (the legendary Riddim Twins of reggae, Sly & Robbie, each guest on four tracks), and in San Francisco, Yell Fire! is stacked with deep grooves: the opening "Time to Go Home," "Everyone ona Move," the title track, and "Light Up Ya Lighter" all share a clarity of vision, attitude of great magnitude, and a levels-deep lyrical richness, all while kicking serious rhythmic ass. But even the texturally lighter moments -- the ballads "One Step Closer to You" (with harmony vocals by Pink), "Tolerance," and "Is Love Enough?" -- follow through on the album's thread of righteous positivity, no-brainer pacifism, accept-it-or-die tolerance, and the universal unification of spirit. Franti's brain-stimulating songwriting rises to a new level of proficiency here -- the playful "Hello Bonjour" is as much a shout out to truth and justice as the knife-sharp "See You in the Light." If there is a weakness, it's that the arrangements to which Franti's listen-carefully lyrics are set often fall subservient to his boosted-in-the-mix vocals. At times that leaves Spearhead's reggae/funk/dancehall/hip-hop amalgams necessarily shadowed by their leader's real-life, life-affirming commentaries. But never does Yell Fire! suffer for it. What Franti is saying here is what needs to be heard -- sooner than later.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/25/2006
Label: Anti
UPC: 0045778680726
catalogNumber: 86807
Rank: 26185

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Franti & Spearhead   Primary Artist
Ian Coleman   Guitar
Sly Dunbar   Drums
Eamonn Flynn   Keyboards
Michael Franti   Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Michael Hyde   Keyboards
Robbie Shakespeare   Bass,Bass Guitar
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson   Percussion
Jason Yates   Keyboards
Steven "Lenky" Marsden   Keyboards
Carl Young   Bass,Piano,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Group Member
Julie Marie   Violin
Dave Shul   Guitar,Group Member
Ade   Vocals,La-La
Squidlly   Drums,Vocals
Peter Pan   Strings,Violin
Anthony Robustelli   Keyboards
Lou Jackson   Strings,Violin
Roberto Quintana   Percussion
Gentleman   Vocals
Theresa Perez   Vocals,La-La
Carlita   Background Vocals
Catdawg   La-La
Gentleman   Vocals
Ralph Street   Cello
Zsa Zsa   Background Vocals
Julie Marle   Violin
J. Bowman   Guitar
Manas Itene   Drums,Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Mario Caldato   Engineer
Arne Frager   Engineer
Michael Franti   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Robert Carranza   Engineer
Dave Shul   Composer
Wonder Knack   Cover Photo
Robert Gatley   Engineer
Michael VerSteegt   Engineer
Randy Miller   String Arrangements
J. Bowman   Composer,Engineer
Manas Itene   Composer

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