Profile
Search
Register
Log in
HTDD review at music-reviewer.com
View previous topic | View next topic >

Post new topic Reply to topic
Strange Famous Forum > Press/Interviews/reviews

Author Message
Eireenah



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 438
Location: "I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out."
HTDD review at music-reviewer.com  Reply with quote  

My husband stumbled upon this by accident when he was checking out new Joomla! components at http://www.reviewsforjoomla.com/

So here it is:

--------------------------------------------------------------
Written by Elizabeth Schlee

My life was changed the moment I first listened to Sage Francis. The song was "Escape Artist" and I was feeling particularly angry and dissociative. The remember the chorus giving me a sense of camaraderie that I had never shared with a musician of any genre, let alone hip-hop. From then on, I was hooked. I recently spoke with Sage, and it turns out that such reactions to his music are something he actually likes. He admits that he sometimes gets tired of revealing so much of himself, but says that it still makes him feel good to see that people can relate to him and see themselves in his songs. This aspect can easily be attributed to Francisí "confessional" approach to hip-hop, something for which is he well-known and highly criticized. Sage repeats his intimate approach on his latest release, Human the Death Dance, and combines it with other sounds he has sported throughout the years, creating a musical tribute to past versions of himself. "Itís a culmination," he said, "of all the styles that were prevalent on other records. I wanted it to have that mixtape feel and jump around from era to era."

The album certainly does run his historical gamut, even going back to the relatively bare and primitive sounds of his Art Official Intelligence days with the song "Underground for Dummies." He pays homage to the conscience-voiced songs of 2002ís Personal Journals with "Waterline" and "Keep Moving." Changing pace, he then rehashes the politicization of 2005ís A Healthy Distrust with tracks like "Hoofprints in the Sand" and "Civil Disobedience." The time traveling is fun and all, but the purpose of the album is supposed to be more than self-admiration.

Sage wants to rid himself of "guilt-trip ghosts" from past experiences and relationships. "This is subject matter that Iím interested in leaving behind me from this point on," he says, and although he has often given the impression that he writes more for himself than for his fans, I think he means it more than ever this time. After listening to Human the Death Dance and reading the CD booklet (in which Sage Francis gives a brief synopsis and explanation for each song) the listener gets a feeling that this record could sit in a remote vault for the next thousand years and it would have still served itís purpose. This album, more than any other, seems to be an attempt at personal closure. But has it been a successful attempt? Francis admits that music as a catharsis is rarely effective. "I believe that [creating music] is therapeutic, but it doesnít really heal anything. Itís like aspirin, [the pain] fades for a while and then youíre back to the same old shit." At the very least, he has been afforded some measure of relief, no matter how transitory.

Francis also says that Human the Death Dance serves a less conceited, not altogether unfamiliar purpose: thought provocation. He did it with A Healthy Distrust, as well as with The Makeshift Patriot EP, both released after 9/11 and intended to encourage political skepticism. This time around, he says, is more about encouraging people to "get away from their commitments to everyone" and review their ideas about personal freedom. The sentiments, while definitely present on in some songs, werenít something I expected from someone who so often seems to view himself in the context of others. Confused, I asked him to explain. " I think some people never [get away from their commitments]," he said, "and never explore who they really are and never live outside of other peopleís expectations. Iíve gotten to experience a lot of the world this way." The end result, he said, is that he isnít confused about who he is, what he does or why he does it.

Now the flattery subsides, making way for the hard part - my opinion of Human the Death Dance. I didnít hate it, I was just rather.... unimpressed. Iíve listened to all sixteen songs around ten times and donít get me wrong, they are all listenable, but there are only a few that have Sageís characteristic raw emotion heard on past records, whether growly or soft, political or mental. "Water Line," "Call Me Francois," "Black Out On White Night," "Keep Moving" - Those are the ones that make me lose track of time, that make me tense in the chest and wet in the eyes. The rest, while undeniably above average lyrically, simply donít have any effect on me. Forgive me for the insult, but Human the Death Dance just isnít nearly as memorable as I hoped it would be.

http://www.music-reviewer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=795&Itemid=1
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:41 am
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
The Shards



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 139
 Reply with quote  

isn't it a bit unrealistic to expect a visceral emotional reaction to every track?
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:50 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Mr 9999
Judge and Jury


Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1293
 Reply with quote  

I was thinking the same exact thing but I'm reluctant to post responses to reviews. Doing my best anyway. But I've never released an album that is full of the kind of songs this reviewer is interested in hearing so I don't know why he had those expectations. I don't even think having an album of songs like that would be worth making. They have their place.
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:59 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Eireenah



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 438
Location: "I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out."
 Reply with quote  

Don't kill the messenger. I just posted it for the archiving purposes.
But i do like the "My life was changed the moment I first listened to Sage Francis." part.
I allready said my part about people who are listing 'good' and 'bad' songs on this album. It's not what matters at all because the album is way too complex to be reviewed in that way.
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:32 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
gordon shumway



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 292
 Reply with quote  

I'd think that "losing track of time" on the songs listed would leave a better review. I'm looking forward to tonight even though it's hot as all shit outside right now.
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:53 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Mr 9999
Judge and Jury


Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1293
 Reply with quote  

Nawwww, I'm not killing the messenger. I love the messenger.

I spent the last couple hours thinking about this review and my album and what exactly is going on. I came to the conclusion that, more than any other record that came before it, this album is a celebration of my life and career. Its about random shit I've been through, what's I've learned from it and how it has stuck with me. Whether its about a break up, playing sports, putting together tape covers, dealing with drug addiction and loss....everything. Its reflection and it really is more personal than anything else that I've done thusfar. And I don't believe that just because something is personal that its better. But that's just what it is. It took me this long to put it all into perspective in that way.
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:56 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
The Shards



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 139
 Reply with quote  

I think some people, how can I say it.... with a comedy track they want to laugh, with an intellectual track they want to be educated, and with everything else they want to be moved. A personal track that doesn't deliver the emotional voltage is a failure in their ears, whereas to me, that was never really the intention of the song or what I expected from it.

It's like films... making the audience turn on the waterworks is a specific achievement, various techniques can be used to induce it, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all.
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:04 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Mr 9999
Judge and Jury


Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1293
 Reply with quote  

Yeah, but every scene in those movies isn't a punch to the gut. That's not how shit works. The album is a movie
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:31 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
MC Pope



Joined: 16 Jul 2003
Posts: 2986
Location: Adelaide, Australia
 Reply with quote  


Quote:

My life was changed the moment I first listened to Sage Francis. The song was "Escape Artist" and I was feeling particularly angry and dissociative. The remember the chorus giving me a sense of camaraderie that I had never shared with a musician of any genre, let alone hip-hop.


Maybe she's unimpressed because she was wanting the album to measure up to that 'first time hearing something really new to you' experience. If that's amazing, it'll colour your view of that first record or couple of records that you hear from whatever artist. Once you've had time to really process the music and get over that initial holyfuckingshitthatssocool!!!! reaction, it's kind of hard for anything you hear later to provoke you in the same way.
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:53 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Eireenah



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 438
Location: "I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out."
 Reply with quote  

MC Pope wrote:
Maybe she's unimpressed because she was wanting the album to measure up to that 'first time hearing something really new to you' experience.


Then she shouldn't feel invited to review it. From my experience you can't get all of it when listening to the album for the first time. Especially Sage. His stuff is waaay too layered and you need to grow with it. Listen to it in various situations. Many many times. IMHO every album i 'liked' too much on the first listen, i got bored with it way too soon. This one is holding my breath for months now and i'm still exploring it, and enjoying this enigmatic comprehension process big time. And still i don't feel competent enough to lay it all out yet, song by song, and stitch such shallow adjectives to the songs.

Exactly... album is the movie... and the script doesn't allways go the way we want to. leave happy ends to dance monkeys!
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:41 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
The Shards



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 139
 Reply with quote  

well the reviewer said she's given it at least ten spins
besides i'm not actually a fan of the 'listen again and again until you get it' school of thought. that's how people ended up thinking Radiohead were good.

it's just, if this reviewer listens to hiphop expecting every track to make her wet in the eyes or 'tight in the chest'... it seems untenable

i suppose though i personally expect to be moved like that when i listen to classical music so if she felt that with the previous albums then i understand the hope that this would be the same (though i don't quite get how hte previous albums did it... maybe it's more to do with happenings in her own life at the time)
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:05 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Eireenah



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 438
Location: "I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out."
 Reply with quote  

The Shards wrote:
besides i'm not actually a fan of the 'listen again and again until you get it' school of thought.


it's not about getting to the point where you say 'i got it'. like learning. there are people that are done with the learning once they graduate, and there are other ones that see learning as a lifetime process, not counting the quantity of time they spent with the matter.
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:15 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21546
 Reply with quote  

The Shards wrote:
i'm not actually a fan of the 'listen again and again until you get it' school of thought. that's how people ended up thinking Radiohead were good.



haha respeck
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:30 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Lusid
http://youtube.com/watch?v=skCV2L0c6K0


Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 5081
Location: Dr. Pepperland
 Reply with quote  

Mr 9999 wrote:
Yeah, but every scene in those movies isn't a punch to the gut. That's not how shit works. The album is a movie


What sucked is it was tracked backwards on my ipod the whole time at the beach so I couldn't listen to it in it's natural flow.
On the learning to love it topic, Blackout On White Night and I connected hard after not feeling it at all until I was camping in a tent during a tropical storm far from home.
Music triggers memories so if you're listening to it a lot you're connecting it here and there and it all clings to experience and becomes either a positive or a negitive bond.
Other times it just grows on you or it be becomes a skip track that you listen to later and it sounds new and fresh and possibly more meaningful.
I like that about music.
Post Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:38 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Eireenah



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 438
Location: "I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out."
 Reply with quote  

Lusid wrote:
What sucked is it was tracked backwards on my ipod the whole time at the beach so I couldn't listen to it in it's natural flow.


uhh that's definitely not a good way to sart off with album.


Quote:

On the learning to love it topic, Blackout On White Night and I connected hard after not feeling it at all until I was camping in a tent during a tropical storm far from home.


That's where you 'got' this song. And now you can keep it growing in 'normal' situatiuons, triggering your own memory when you listen it under 'normal conditions'. I compared the learning curve in relation to the artist or album. I don't think you can 'get' the whole album at the same time.
Post Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:00 am
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Goto page 1, 2  Next
All times are GMT - 6 Hours.
The time now is Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:55 pm
  Display posts from previous:      


Powered by phpBB: © 2001 phpBB Group
Template created by The Fathom
Based on template of Nick Mahon