Personal Journals Sage Francis

By Chris Seet

The press release for this album states that Sage Francis is “both superego created in the shadows of Paul Francis, and a disembowled head on a stake as a warning to all who seek to find the answers to the great abyss.” Whether the MC touted as Rhode Island’s finest or the aformentioned disembowled head, Sage Francis has been winning loyal fans the country over, thanks in no small part to his presence on both Anticon and Atmosphere tours. His latest release, Personal Journals, is an ambitious production, perhaps a little too much so. While containing moments of deft MCing, crafty rhyming, and heavy sociopolitical overtones (to the point of saturation), the tracks themselves often fail to hold interest, fall flat, and at times use too much ironic instrumentation and backing vocals to be taken seriously. Working at the grassroots level selling CD-Rs and playing fierce, sold-out independent shows, Sage Francis is now set to work the markets with this new album. Will he succeed? Maybe.