Hatchy bypasses the bootyshakers and heads to the snack bar
Publisher: Shock Records
Sun, 8 April 2007
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We were privileged to get slung a copy of Mintons EP by True Live quite a while ago and yours truly took an immense shine to it. 'The Shape Of It' is True Lives' first long-player follow-up to their debut EP and has arrived with a great deal of expectation.
True Live are from Melbourne Australia and among their members boast several that have performed with the illustrious Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Their music is a very earthy and organic style of hip-hop that blends classical instruments and resists the bling-bling macho tirades of "The Best New R&B Artist" on the commercial video music station of the masses choice.
You're more likely to see some booty shaking models in a Wiggles music video than you will with these guys, and I for one am very grateful.
There is a lot more confidence in this release, evident in the lyrics and the musical stylings, when compared to the Mintons EP.
True Live, it would appear, were perhaps a little conservative in making their debut as The Shape Of It literally explodes off the disc. There are some absolute gems in here. Track 9 starts with a swirling Arabic beat, hits the mid point with some fine organ playing before fading out nicely to the Arabic notes again.
Track 3 is my favourite. It is a pacing, thumping tune with classy rhyming and some menacing percussion overlaid on top.
Bounce may have been the single that got a lot of decent airplay but Track 3 is still my pick of the lot. I could deconstruct every other track on the album but there is no point really, the music is just too good to bother.
Since the release of The Shape Of It, True Live have been picking up gigs and playing in festivals all summer long. Although not privileged myself to have seen the band play, from all accounts they manage to put on a very impressive show.
It's really hard to gauge and measure the quality and talent that exists in this group - they are seriously that good. You do have to like hip-hop music, that's a given, but even the uninitiated may appreciate such a polished Australian interpretation of the genre.
Fans of the music have been spoilt in recent times: The Herd, Hilltop Hoods and (now sadly disbanded) 1200 Techniques have produced some stunning music and in the case of The Hilltop Hoods, cleaned up at several big industry award nights.
True Live have arrived in a time of some very good competition, new releases are now scrutinised closely and if you want to make it - your initial release has got to be good. As their first long player, The Shape Of It is a fine achievement.
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They just don't get much better than this; Australian hip-hop has finally come of age.