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Personal Journals review (7 years later.)
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Personal Journals review (7 years later.)  Reply with quote

Sage Francis - Personal Journals
2009 February 21

It's strange how life can imitate art so often. My musical world didn’t include Sage Francis and his first proper debut, Personal Journals, until about 2004 when I started college. My friend Colin was into him, and the first song I ever heard was “Crack Pipes.” I might’ve heard “Makeshift Patriot” as well; even though its not on this album. At first Personal Journals was simply another album, filled with remarkably introspective lyrics and beats that fit each song perfectly. Spliced between these deeply personal words are old recordings of Sage; highlighting his awkward-youth stages and discovery of hip-hop. Although we lead different lives, I can understand his perspectives so well. We’re a couple of white kids who love hip-hop, but at the same time we’re highly disappointed with the state of things. You don’t find most mainstream hip-hop artists spilling out their hearts like this, that’s not what the game is all about. Its not macho to show emotions and pain, to admit that shit sometimes isn’t right. Not only that, but the subject matter on Sage’s record is not only personal, but distant enough that it could apply to anyone.

Only several years later did the songs really begin to speak to me, as the self-deprecating nature of songs comforted me. Personal Journals is aptly named, because these are journal entries, which is part of why they appealed to me so much. “Broken Wings” makes me think of a friend who I fell for, but underneath the glamor is a person who might not be the best person - not that it matters, we accept people. “Message Sent” is a great revenge song. “Pitchers of Silence” just wrecks and explains how much Sage has to say, but can’t get it out sometimes. There’s a sense of release, emptying all the things one leaves unsaid. “Hopeless” is perhaps my favorite song on the record, and honest open-hearted love song Much of the album is just as good. Although released in 2002 Personal Journals still sounds fresh and on-point. Maybe that’s a bigger commentary on Sage’s genius than anything else, that an introspective album about personal pains, produced by a variety of people, ends up sounding better than what’s coming out now. That’s a dis hip-hop, stand up and deliver for once.
Post Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:44 am
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