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Based On a True Story

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Album Review

The debut album from Fat Freddy's Drop was originally issued on the band's own Drop label in its native New Zealand, where the disc promptly shipped gold and gained notoriety as the first indie album ever to hit number one on that country's pop charts. It ended up spending 42 weeks in the Top Ten. So expectations were high for the U.S. issue of Based on a True Story on the Kartel label, and the album doesn't disappoint. Although the band favors the term "hi-tek soul" to describe its music, the simple fact is that most of these songs fall squarely in the reggae/dub category, with occasional excursions into ska and jazzy, semi-electronic funk. Joe Dukie's voice is appealingly silky and soulful without being off-puttingly slick, and the band's horn section contributes alternately smooth and chunky chordal backing along with old-school organ and more modern synthesizer sounds. The mood of Based on a True Story is pretty consistently laid-back and mellow, and it's a little bit hard to identify highlights from among the album's mid-tempo offerings, but the extra funk edge of "Ray Ray" is especially nice, and "Cay's Crays" nicely evokes early UB40. The swinging ska beat and jazz flute of "Wandering Eye" are also lots of fun. Highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

This is 'Based on a true story'

This album is truly fantastic!!! A mixture of easy-listening, soulful, funky, reggae tracks.

Simply great listening

At first listen I was curious, but this album has really grown on me and it is now one of my firm favourites for sure.

100%

These guys are fantastic, one of my favourite albums in my collection, these boys are funky soulful dub legends. Ernie, Flashback, Roady, Wandering Eye and Hope are must haves for everyones music collection. Already massive in NZ, they're gaining momentum overseas and looking to be another bit of kiwi magic to go global. Keep an eye out for the Wandering Eye video clip set in an Auckland fish and chip shop, and the new Roady video filmed in Wellington.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Wellington, New Zealand

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '00s, '10s

They've dubbed themselves "hi-tek soul," but Fat Freddy's Drop — featuring producer and leader Fitchie, vocalist Joe Dukie, saxophonist Warren Maxwell, trumpeter Toby Laing, trombonist Joe Lindsay, guitarist Tehimana Kerr, and keyboardist Iain Gordon — could just as easily be considered a modern reggae band that incorporates soul and dub. Prior to releasing their first album, 2005's Based on a True Story, they were already well-known in their native New Zealand; the album shipped gold...
Full Bio
Based On a True Story, Fat Freddy's Drop
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