Music You Need to Know : Fat Freddy’s Drop – Based On A True Story

First of all, let me start by giving a quick background on this series. I will be informing all of you out there in Internet Land of some essential tunes for your ears to dance to. Why is it essential you ask? For no other reason than I enjoy listening to it and with a collection of over 2,500 albums, I’ve found a couple gems which need to be shared. There are times I will be reviewing new albums and also times I’ll be rehashing some albums you might have slept on. With that being said…let us begin with:

Fat Freddy’s Drop – Based On A True Story (released: May 2005)

I found this album by way of my good friend who returned from his visit to Australia and New Zealand. He gave me the age old, “Dude, you gotta check this out…” line. And as always, I gave him the, “yeah, yeah, yeah…” response. Well needless to say, when I finally did check out this album, I was blown away.

Fat Freddy’s Drop is a reggae/dub/jazz group with a touch of hip hop from New Zealand. They are hugely successful with their Kiwi fans (this album is 7 times platinum by New Zealand standards) and have won almost every New Zealand music award that there is to win (bet you didn’t know they had New Zealand music awards!). Now, I know when I think reggae, I think Bob Marley. And while I love Bob, I too often feel that he is mimicked by so many other similar reggae artists.

Fat Freddy’s Drop was a refreshing break from this train of thought. These guys have an amazing ability of letting a track develop and grow from the moment it starts. So many tracks on the album begin with a simple rhythm and grow into a jungle of horns, bass, and sax all intermingling, creating a truly infectious groove. And right when you might think they’re pushing it a bit much and getting out of hand, they’ll cut the instrumentation to return to that simple, original rhythm which led you into the trance you will inevitably find yourself in. And believe me, with no track on the album being under 5 minutes, you definitely have time to settle into a hypnotic state for each and every song, if not the entire album.

The production on this album is phenomenal and each song somehow retains its own unique identity while maintaining a familiar vibe throughout the album. You also have to enjoy the singer’s voice (no Jamacian accent mind you) which is placed so perfectly over the rhythms provided by the rest of the group. Simple lyrics and truly head-bopping beats make this album addictive from the start. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let this ride in the background until someone inevitably spits out, “Who is this we’re listening to?!?”.

Trust me…you need to know about Fat Freddy’s Drop – Based On A True Story…educate yourself!

Jansen Wordsworth

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Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 11:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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