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on 13 October 2003
It seems most rappers today have forgotten what 'rap' really means; Sage isn't one of them - he rhymes and flows like the best of them, but his words are amazingly poetic without being difficult to understand or weird for the sake of wird. And there's unparalellled conviction in Sage's voice - it's clear this man really FEELS every word he says... Personal Journals is Sage, to quote the man himself, 'naked walking tight ropes without big toes' - at his most vulnerable. But it doesn't get pretentious, it doesn't for one second feel like he's doing it for his own sake or that he's being narcissistic. He has something important to say, and this album is full of those moments where a few sentences suddenly seem to sum up the way the I, the listener, feel - which is a rare thing indeed.
The music is hiphop. I really don't find it that weird, but if you think P. Diddy is maybe getting a little too adventureous, well, this isn't for you. But Sage's worked with some of the most talented producers in American Hiphop today people like Sixtoo and Jel, and the arrangements are all great. This album really feels as special musically as it does lyrically. A solid 5 out of 5!
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on 6 December 2002
The first word that springs to mind, having just listened again to this album, is "depth". As mentioned in another review he verges on poetry to a hip-hop beat, but to typecast his sound as hip-hop would not give credit to the range of live instruments, issues, tones and styles he demonstrates or comments on.
It really is a great album but I can imagine if you are expecting the commercial sound of Busta, Elliot, Eminem etc. you are not going to get the gangster hip-hop sound you are used to.
In summary It's one continuous, refined and well produced, piece of music. But as always with something complexed you owe it to yourself to listen to the tracks Amazon provide.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2004
If anyone is in any doubt as to the genius of this record then they only need to look at the song 'Crack Pipes'.If 50 Cent or anyone else of his ilk did a song with that title then it would be full of fak-gangsta bravado,but Sage Francis does not do this:
"extreme fluctuations in temperature changes have been known to crack pipes" GENIUS!!!
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on 9 January 2005
To start with lets put these eminem comparisons to bed...if you have ever heard sage battle with other mc's then you know he would disect, bisect fry up and eat mr. mathers for breakfast. There is a slight regional similarity in accent alone but there it stops.
Personal journals is as it states an epic biography of sage francis; his opinions on hip-hop, life experiences, straight-edge attitudes, vegetarian beliefs and feelings on being misunderstood. The beats are hypnotic, the strings evocative and the general warmth and empathy i felt when listening to this record instantly turned me into an avid fan.....buy it now before you die.
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on 22 October 2003
that's all I can say. anything else sounds cheap. I'm a critical individual but I can't really find any faults with this. It's witty, it's brilliantly produced, it's occasionally so poignant that it brings tears to your eyes- particularly on tracks like 'inherited scars', which is so compelling that I had to listen to it seven times in succession, only holding off on the eighth for the fear of over-playing it.
This is a very special album. I can't do it justice- this man's a phenomenon, and I don't use the word lightly. Buy it. Now.
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on 22 November 2002
hip-hop label Anticon specialises in the experimental, with artist such as Doseone, Boom Bip, Radionactive, Circle, Why?, Sole and cLOUDEAD. Sage Francis take their experimental-style beats and give them a commercial twist, which the pull off with great aplomb. mystic, creepy, thumping, confusing, enlightening and shocking all at once. what they rap about could hardly be less commercially-styled, but there is something about their production which makes it quite accessible. if you're familiar with the Anticon label and it's artists, this'll blow your mind. if you are looking for something new, this could well be a mind opener for you. but if the Eminem CD has just stopped on your CD player, approach with caution. you'll only be disappointed. it's a little weird...
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on 8 July 2013
Great album, but it arrived and it was a CD (not a vinyl), and therefore I feel mislead in buying it - as it's stated in the title that it is a vinyl.
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on 27 June 2002
It's really hard to describe Sage's music. It could be seen as Hip-Hop but he focuses alot more on his poetry and it's not really your typical Rap album, if you could even call it that. If you're planning on buying this album then I suggest you download a couple of the songs first just to get a feel of what it's like. I think you have to be very open minded musically to listen to this, it wouldn't go down well with the thug fans or even alot of the underground fans.
The music itself is very emotional and is that of a rollercoaster ride, I was a little thrown off because it's not exactly the type of music I'm normally used to and at times the album does sound slightly poor. Other than that it's pretty good, some nice beats and the lyrics are very deep and to be quite honest hard to understand.
I see this going down well with indy fans and the odd Hip-Hop fan.
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