The Sound of Sunshine

"They can take away my job but not my friends," sings Michael Franti on his new disc, which suggests a musical activist's job — especially in hard times — is about celebration as much as agitation. Coming after a hit single ("Say Hey [I Love You]") and a near-fatal ruptured appendix in 2009, Franti's most poppy album yet is full of reggae hybrids and his best stab at arena rock: "I'll Be Waiting," with a riff flipped, hip-hop-style, from U2's "Bad." Franti owes the Irishmen some pints.