SAGE FRANCIS - A Healthy Distrust

By arctor - Homework - 02/08/2005

I couldn’t figure out sometimes whether I liked Sage Francis or not. I mean, I like other stuff that’s in the same vein, so it’s more a matter of not really knowing his work very well I suppose. Having the album in hand seems to have helped. Sage just never makes it to my mp3 player, although being a good indie hip hop supporter I have his whole catalogue up to share (arctor's on tha seek baby). So now this new one got sent to the station, and I’m so darn impressed that I feel like I have to go pay for something from his back catalogue. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I keep going back to A Healthy Distrust, even with a pile of other stuff to check out. I think it’s like, he’s a bright old bastard who has seen the same things as every other rapper, but would rather tell horror stories around a burning oil barrel than battle. Reanimator, Dangermouse, Sixtoo, Will Oldham and others help provide the soundscape, which ranges from distortion to strings to distorted strings that sound like horns. The drums and basslines go Bomb Squad at least once every minute and a half, and for the political peeps out there: lean back! Ghandi and Napoleon are among the historical figures who get the no-holds-barred treatment here. One thing though, the album runs a little short at just under 48 minutes. The average hip hop EP this past year seemed to be 40 minutes long. I would have settled for 10 minutes of dead air and a hidden track. Sage – don’t hold back on us now. I promise I’ll pay for the next one.

[Tune in to Homework Wednesdays from 10pm to midnight]