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iTunes Review

Sage Francis is a bit like a modern day Gil Scott-Heron, whose own 2010 release I’m New Here would make a great complement to this album of insistent personal style. Francis is a rapper who doesn’t play by hip-hop rules. He works up his politics, not the usual bragging of bling, and with members of Califone, Death Cab for Cutie and Grandaddy brings together a solid, musical approach that’s high on acoustic guitars and a bizarre sort of anti-folk. Highlights include “Three Sheets to the Wind,” “I Was Zero” and the nearly psychedelic “Diamonds and Pearls.” “The Baby Stays” and the spooky creep of “16 Years” are as close as Francis comes to “soft-rock.” “Worry Not” preaches anxiety as a permanent state of mind. “London Bridge” pumps with a punk spirit. “Love the Lie” sets up the fast-talking philosopher with alluring pop music. “The Best of Times” concludes things with an ominous sense that Francis is only beginning to tell his story, suggesting it contains plenty of future drama and strife and, eventually, redemption.

Customer Reviews

Niche of a Niche

Now don't get me wrong. I love me some Sage. Personal Journals, A Healthy Distrust and many of his early mixtapes are some of my favorite albums EVER. But when Human the Death Dance came out it was less than overwhelming and Li(f)e take this one step further. Sage Francis in the early days was one of the best underground rappers out there who said what he felt and wasn't shy to express things from his life and feelings about any subject under the sun. But I feel like as his career progresses Sage himself falls into smaller and smaller categories with what he makes and even what he likes. You only need to take a look at his Strange Famous label to see that it isn't a very wide swath of styles and genres represented. So Li(f)e is just the end result of that. 75% of these songs lack a definitive drum line and he is reverting to more of a Buddy Wakefield / B. Dolan style of delivery than what he put out previously. Buck 65 could have been the producer on pretty much every track, and the fact that people can debate at all whether this is hip hop, some sub genre or something entirely different points a giant arrow to the fact that many people won't "get" or enjoy it.... Sage is always the guy that makes music that he himself enjoys, and I can respect that on many levels, but I just don't enjoy the music he has been making as of late....

an amalgam well done.

I'm a long-time Sage fan, own all his LP's. I like some better than others, but this one is movin to the top of the list. I feel like Sage has had this LP coming to him; it was meant to be. Remember those couple tracks on A Healthy Distrust that you kept replaying? This Lp is what you've waiting for, because I beleive that you, the Sage Francis fan, are an open-minded individual who has more than just hip hop in their ipod. Maybe you've been happy that artists like P.O.S and Cage and Eyedea and Abilities and Mos Def have been able to expand hip hop into rock regions without sounding contrived. Maybe you were hoping a lyricist could bring it a little more organic, a little melodic. Well, here you go. Personal journals meets Dr. Dog. enjoy. buy the whole thing.

What I needed.

Growth within his style while still delivering music I can listen too and be excited about is the best way to describe this album. I usually need to get into his albums and listen to them a couple of times before I can pass judgement but I really did like this one straight from go. The beats are different, but I do like that Sage has drifted from his default militant drums and expanded on the music he draws from. I look forward to enjoying this one for a long time.


Born: 1977 in Miami, FL

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Born Paul Francis in 1977 in Miami, Florida, Sage Francis spent most of his youth in Providence, Rhode Island. Interested in the poetic side of rap, Francis had been rhyming since age eight, later winning the Superbowl Battle in Boston in 1999 and the Scribble Jam in Cincinnati in 2000 and 2001 (the last under the name of his "metal" alter ego, Xaul Zan). After graduating from Dean College in Massachusetts with an A.A. in communications and from the University of Rhode Island-Kingston with a B.A....
Full Bio
Li(F)E, Sage Francis
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Customer Ratings