Michael Franti is an intriguing artist. His mix of hip-hop beats, reggae and soulful folk-rock has influenced a seemingly endless parade of radio-ready singer-songwriters. And yet Franti himself has always remained on the mainstream's periphery. That's by design -- as The Sound of Sunshine clearly proves. Franti's songwriting, production values and lyricism are just a little too intricate, a little too rich, for the kind of widespread appeal a guy like Jack Johnson or even Donavon Frankenreiter enjoys. Though he's all about making folks dance, he wants them to use their brains as well.