Faron Sage Does The Knowledge on “Head or Tail”
Sometimes, there’s a message in the music. Sometimes, the music becomes the message. And sometimes, the message is becoming to the music.
A thorough listen to Faron Sage’s latest single, “Head or Tale”, immediately reveals that all of the above is true in this endeavor. Money’s got some thoroughly pressing, thought-provoking interrogatives (if not answers). His ardor, and the exigency which fuels his delivery and, quite naturally, the music in which his vocals are entrenched, is reminiscent of Gil Scott Heron, in some respects.
But moreover, so are his lyrics. Keep in mind, he’s not singing. He’s certainly not rapping. Even spoken word contains rhymes, so that’s out as well. His vocals have a remote sense of cadence, but not really. Poetry (another nod to Scott Heron) is perhaps a more suitable vein. However, it’s not the poems of roses and violets, but a shade away from the revolutionary outcries of say, an Amiri Baraka.
However his vocals are conceptualized, they take priority over everything else, including the big bass line—only a bar in length—that has a groove on which to build the entire track. The fact that the “verses” are bereft of kicks and snares underscores this point, so you can really hear him.
It’s even quite clear that what he’s saying—not necessarily how he’s saying it, which is the case with conventional song lyrics—predominates the trippy, spaced out chords, synths, and offbeat (not sure if it’s a 5/8 time signature or what, it’s definitely not triplets) drums during the “hook”: which is simply more talking, or ranting.
So what’s got him worked up? Nothing less than what should. Human rights, be they the right “to strive for perfection” (Raekwon and Ghostface Killah remember that) or for social justice. Dude’s dropping lines like “how do we make sense of what’s heads or tails when what’s going on is a head with too many tales”.
See what I’m saying? This is a call for social responsibility, perhaps even racial, economic and national parity. And it’s so urgent, so inexorable, that Sage doesn’t have to sing it, rap it, or wrap it up in anything more compelling than the message, itself.
Try it on for size yourself, why don’t you?