Written by Adam Darbyshire
The Hoods are back with yet another explosive album, a perfect second part to their previous album ‘Drinking From The Sun’.
A few of their tracks have a more poppy vibe than their back catalogue but this isn’t something to shy away from, it works perfectly with the feel of the album and personally I think it shows the growth of this hip hop trio as they have moved through almost a decade of music now, with their first studio album ‘Hard Road’ released way back in 2006, that’s not giving any discredit to previous work they have released beforehand.
Half the album has some funky bass beats, which has led the track to build in quite an upbeat manner leaving a good chorus; either from the Hoods voices or from feature artists such as Maverick Sabre, showing the Hoods aren’t just keeping things local this time, travelling all the way across the world to record with the UK artist. You can see the second single release, and one of my favourite tracks, ‘Won’t Let You Down’ in the Youtube player below. In fact I liked this song so much that it was the second dance at my wedding recently and the first one to get everyone involved in, seeing the older generations trying to understand why they are hearing a rapper at a wedding reception, why these rappers sounds Australian, and why they still love the track is still up there in wedding memories for me.
My personal favourite is ‘Cosby Sweater’ which has a great buzz about the track with some quick lines from both Pressure and Suffa and a strong chorus courtesy of Dan Sultan which can keep the general fans loving the track instead of just those that appreciate a good rhyming verse. Another funky beat that’s worth noting is the beat behind ‘Rumble, Young Man Rumble’ which has a mix of speedy vocals to accompany the faintly distorted guitar chords that snap in and out of the record.
Hilltop have also taken this album as an opportunity to send out clear messages to both the fans, and more specific people, for example there is a song called ‘Through The Dark’ which holds a lovely piano melody and a slow paced drum beat, to which Pressure pours his soul in a very moving message to his son who has been in and out of hospital from a very young age. It is a truly perfect piece of music and sets an image very clearly in your head that I imagine everyone who hears it will take a second afterwards to contemplate everything mentioned in the song. It really does convey real life, which is something the Hoods wanted to show in this album in particular.
My favourite sample used on the album would have to be the space invaders sound which can be heard faintly at the end of the song ‘Walking Under Stars’, its gems like this that add to songs and show how the Hoods go the extra mile for the perfect record.
If for whatever reason you aren’t aware of the Hilltop Hoods yet they are definitely worth checking out and fully provide something for everyone, this album would be a good place to start for any new fan and a definite need for any hip hop fan to have in their catalogue.
Also keep your eyes peeled here at HHK for the interview we managed to get with Hilltop when they were in London earlier this year.