Song Review-Dead Man’s Float by Sage Francis produced by Cecil Otter
The new Sage Francis album Copper Gone is the oldest album of 2014. It feels like that desperate essay Jack Kerouac wrote about how the hippies misunderstood his writing. It feels like Neil Young yelling that kids listening to mp3’s can’t even hear the music anymore. The album practically bleeds words, every oozing one biting and poetic shouted in a 1989 fuzzy Kangol Def Jam cadence.
I live in Maine and all across the east coast you can gather a lifetime of stories about how much people hate Sage Francis. I’ve seen the brightest poetic minds speak about him as if he were their worst abusive ex. This is not fiction; if you follow him on any form of social media you will see him calling as many people on the carpet as he can in an acidic tone consistent with his musical persona. Am I biased? I’ve watched him come on stage after M.O.P. and make fun of them for no reason; sat and studied Scribble Jam battles on dvd like they were scripture. I’ve danced with him at a merch table, most of all I’ve watched him throw the funk down on many occasions.
You can’t find a Sage Francis album that was mailed in, made because it had to be. He’s not an artist digging to find his soul. More like an uncomfortable square peg throwing his tightly clutched soul at you as hard as he can. The chant of Dead Man’s Float feels like something he hears in his head, the criticism of those putting the old MC out to pasture (this is confirmed by the countless reflections on his age throughout the album). His cutting wit lashes out at religion “It’s been said faith can move a mountain…faith couldn’t even move low income families away from biblical floods when they were all drowning,” and in doing so leads to something every Sage fan should inscribe somewhere “Shut up when the Captain talks! The secret of the enlightened is to preach against whatever it is they practice in the dark.” Copper Gone will hopefully make sure that his career is never misinterpreted. Think of his catalog as one long uncomfortable conversation with your paranoid unkempt uncle and fit this LP somewhere. That talk you never forget where he’s so drunk that the poetry of inebriated introspection and inborn distrust of the worlds moving parts merge somehow. It becomes something so farcically untrue and personal but on another level, factual in a way you will never admit.
The album Copper Gone will be in stores on 06/03/14 but you can stream it on Bandcamp below: