Sage Francis

Human the Death Dance

He may be a white, vegetarian rapper with two college degrees, but give the man his due. Sage Francis is both light and dark, mixing aggressive words over deliberate beats. Aside from it being a smart, solid effort, there are two main reasons I like this highly personal album. The first is the gracious, though spare, addition of Jolie Holland’s sweet warbling backup on two tracks, most notably the lusty, bluesy “Got Up This Morning.” The beat on that song comes from Buck 65, with whom Sage will be touring this summer. Then there’s the lyrical “Hoofprints in the Sand,” which is so critical of current events as to ask, “Why is it no one else wants to impress Jodie Foster?”