Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It


Everyone Deserves Music

Wednesday, Sep 3 2003
Spearhead's fourth album of beats and socially conscious lyrics manages to accomplish two rare things: Its moments of protest are eloquent without being preachy; and the divergent and elaborate range of styles it attempts neither comes up short nor sounds contrived. A band that has remained a staunch supporter of the Bay Area music scene has also carefully soaked in its current musical pulses. Everyone Deserves Music is the stunning result.

The standout tracks here fall into genres that are somewhat unexpected from a group formerly known for its politicized hip hop. There are a couple of poignant guitar-led ballads ("Never Too Late," "Love Why Did You Go Away?") and some slices of quirky, Latin-tinged funk ("Pray for Grace," "Crazy, Crazy, Crazy"). "Feelin' Free" uses a drum 'n' bass rhythm but strangely also feels reminiscent of the Style Council's more uplifting ska-inflected jams. And the joyous and wonderful "Love Invincible" beats most contemporary house-music producers at their own game and finds Michael Franti's voice pushed to its soul-drenched limits.

The album's most effective political statements are the two versions of "Bomb the World," a boogie built around a simple and yet disturbing thought: "We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb the world to peace." It seems effective enough the first time around, but then we hear the "Armageddon Version" in which fail-safe reggae artists Sly and Robbie add a wall of menacing guitars to change the overall mood from pacifist frustration to activist intention.

Everyone Deserves Music is surely Spearhead's most musically ambitious and politically challenging album, yet should appeal to an expanded sector of listeners that might not have embraced the group before, proof positive that there's no better way to convey a message than to make the delivery sound good.

About The Author

Tamara Palmer


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"