Based On A True Story
Polynesian dub act Fat Freddy’s Drop hit the mainstream in New Zealand in the early 21st century; their music becoming a favourite for live audiences who saw their spaced out jams as high culture. Based On A True Story is intricately textured, soulfully sung and beautifully produced, but the songs simply aren’t that exciting and too consistently slowly paced. If they’re interestingly structured, often breaking away from the restraints of verse and chorus, they still don’t have well developed melodies and the lyrics are the secondary focus at best (“I love it when you’re skanking with me”).
Based On A True Story has two great tracks; the softened down ‘Del Fuego’, breaks out of the monotonous groove for a warm ballad, while the groove is irresistible on the eight minutes of ‘Ray Ray’.
It’s a shame that a record that’s so accomplished in terms of performance and arrangements is left underdone by such routine songs, a talented band pursuing one signature sound too far and not stepping outside of their comfort zone.