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YAY!!! A bad review of HOPE!! I'm a notorious online bitch.
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YAY!!! A bad review of HOPE!! I'm a notorious online bitch.  Reply with quote  

Tracks: 1.intro 2.any port 3.damage 4.that ain't right 5.disasters 6.FRESH 7.mainstream 8.a mill 9.spaceman 10.Xaul Zan's heart word Order 12.tolerance level 13.The cure 14.outro
Sounds Like: under-produced, predictable, unexciting...

In the extensive, hand-written sleeve notes of Sage's much-loved debut LP Personal Journals, he talks defensively about one of the tracks, almost apologising for lapsing into the old habit of what he describes as "catering to the A.D.D. audience". I.e. making easily penetrable songs, to be taken at no more than face value, with big sing-along hooks that work well to patronise the shit out of anybody that's ever liked a serious song. But I think that A.D.D. habit is something that Sage's music suffers from a lot of the time. Even though I felt Personal Journals on a lot of levels, still there were moments that made my teeth grit - it's almost as if Sage Francis feels the need to apologise for his own inherent profoundness by adding in a sort of faux-feel-good humour factor (something that Sole is also prone to). It's a real shame that Sage is too self-conscious to relax and really come to terms with the issues he writes about, and really make some great songs. Especially as there's proof that he's all too capable of it: There are moments on Personal Journals that have become emo-hop/underground anthems of sorts, and occasionally when he plays live, while still obviously self-conscious, Sage can slip into a mode of stark, profane poetry, which touches me on so many more levels than this fucking record.

Non-Prophets to me was always a dubious concept. Joey Beats, Prophets # 1 and the 1200Hobo behind the decks on this one, is a notorious online bitch. But for someone who is so dissatisfied with the prevailing attitude in contemporary hiphop, Joe proves himself to be quite the boring traditionalist. Not only that, but he seems to be operating without any sense of dynamics or subtlety - not great pre-requisite for a musician. Those early Non-Prophets recordings were exactly what Sage was referring in the Personal Journals sleeve - non-descript, laden with hooks, and generally pretty pandering; something drunken teenage hiphop lads could sing along to at college club-nights. But the new album is titled 'Hope', and hope is exactly what it inspired in me, because I'm still in love with the last time Sage Francis made his contribution to a long-player with a single aim and a unified production. He was still yet to impress me more than the time that his moody, staccato vocals dropped onto a bear beatnik bassline in the middle of Sixtoo's Canada Project.

That was everything that Hope isn't. As Sage drops lyrical clichés, occasional wisdoms and irregular flows over Joe Beats' overcooked, under-worked productions, with their irritating little melodies and oddly quiet drums, I'm left clawing at the surface for some massive ironic message, or at least a fucking tune that I feel any urge to dance to. But no. This is not only A.D.D. music, it's also sonically hollow, un-jiggy, lacking mood of any kind. What the fuck were they thinking?

Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:02 pm
Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
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that review made soda shoot out of my nose.

that kid used to post on this messageboard. heh.

He emailed me and said, "Wasn't it you who complained about ADD music?"

and I responded saying, "HOPE is the only kind of album that makes sense to me after Personal Journals. It took as much thought and time to record."

He is entitled to his own opinion, but man...I just think that whole shit was way off base.
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:06 pm
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I know...

quiet drums??

What record is he listening to?

Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:41 pm

Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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That review was terribly written, to A.D.D. insult to injury.
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:46 pm
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Pickster One

Joined: 09 Nov 2002
Posts: 30
Location: Tempe, AZ
He's a  Reply with quote  


No good comment at all.... Please...

.:|Pickster Wonder|:.
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:49 pm
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Joined: 05 Apr 2003
Posts: 4626
Location: ATL, Livin' Swell
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The problem with this piss ant here was in his review he didn't base anything on the record itself...SHOOT this is NON-PROPHETS...Not Sage...People are messing up on that...It's a duo...Joey and Sage...Joey has a way of working within the confines of digestable music but still inspiring one to have an aquired taste for his art...I think he does the job quite well...The reviewer here is just making the review relative to what he likes and his expectations...A BAD quality for any journalist or whatever you want to call the chump...He couldn't go three sentences without bringing in some outer comparison...Compare the album to ITSELF...ITSELF...ITSELF...
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:51 pm
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19374
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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yeah even if you don't like an album or the people responsible for it, at least write your review in a way that I can have a feel for the actual album. That's one thing I like about Ebert. I don't agree with most of his opinions but he writes his reviews in a manner that I can at least get a feel for the movie.

This guy only talked about the actual album for a little less than a paragraph and didn't really explain any of his assertions.

And he personally attacked Joey in a way that had nothing to do with any of the music...that was interesting.

I also liked the psychoanalysis of Sage.
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 4:17 pm
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Joined: 06 Sep 2002
Posts: 465
Location: Sydney, Australia
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That's funny, I always took that A.D.D. comment to mean your more scattered, darker, less accessable type songs, like "Eviction Notice", rather than your more straightforward, good time songs.

I took it as the complete opposite of this guy.
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:56 pm
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 911
Location: england
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dumb fuckin' review....

any review for 'hope' that isn't positive is a pile of panda shit....

Post Sun Oct 05, 2003 4:24 am
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Joined: 09 Jul 2002
Posts: 215
Location: jersey
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god forbid the review is negative
Post Sun Oct 05, 2003 11:17 am
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Billy Gnosis

Joined: 16 Jul 2003
Posts: 1281
Location: Southern Oregon
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Heh. I would call this a negative review, but there's no substantive criticism to it. It all seems vaguely personal. Like the comment on the under-something 'over-worked' drum beat, sounded more like he liked the sound of what he was saying instead of putting a coherent thought together. That's just me though.
Post Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:26 pm
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quiet drums huh???

Did he listen to the dope assed drums in That Ain't Right or what?
Post Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:41 pm
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Godfather Dante

Joined: 10 Jul 2002
Posts: 37
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That kid just saved me fifteen dollars.
Post Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:05 am
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Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6165
Location: privileged homeless
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this was my response to his thread on his messageboard:


XvScott, this is God speaking:

you do not like rap music. you tolerate it only when it behaves as a vehicle for some other kind of expression.

When I heard the snippets of the Hope album on HHI, you have no idea how happy it made me to hear the new lyrics... an acknowledgement of what came before, all the things that went into the pot and created Sage in the first place.

He's a language technician. It's beautiful to watch a craftsman operate.

and then he replied indignantly, and then I said this:


"real hip hop" is a euphemism for "my favourite hip hop", no matter who says it.

real hip hop was a short lived cultural event in seventies inner city new york. it was over by the mid-eighties. everything else is a distorted reflection or modulated echo.

"backpacker" is a word that's had a tortured evolution... to people who listen to Jay-Z, it means people who listen to Sole... and vice versa. When it was coined, it just meant heads that wore backpacks to clubs... probably graf writers or weed dealers, but definitely not macks. It sort of implied that the dude cared about the music rather than looking fly. Now I can't really understand why people use it the way they do.

Sage's rhymes on Hope ARE saying something, it just happens to be a cultural statement rather than a political or intimately autobiographical one, except inasmuch as one's cultural being is political and/or intimate.

He's a gifted poet who can make me relate to events and feelings I've never had to deal with, as he did on Personal Journals... but you know what my favourite track on that album is? Personal Journalist, the hardcore rap workout. It's not because it's more fun, it's because I relate to it better. It speaks my language.

What I heard from Hope is like that, too.

so that's what I think.

peace, forum. keep your eyes out for me.
my e-mail link should work.
Post Tue Oct 07, 2003 6:24 am
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