“ Live Gig - Western Australia „
Before I go into this review I have to say this - I was not present at this gig, the gig is available as a free download and is often classed as part of the Hilltop Hoods discography even though you can not buy it, which I did not realise until I had written this review, so I am reviewing it as an album.
Triple J is a large Australian Radio station that specialises in alternative and local music, the station has been credited with having a large influence on music in Australia and has been the stepping stone bands like the Hilltop Hoods have needed to become known.
Triples J's Broome With a View even took place in Broome, Australia, to celebrate a radio transmitter being set up to bring Triple J to that part of the country, taking place on 9.06.08, and involving the Hilltop Hoods as the main act.
The Downloadable Gig
1 - Recapturing the Vibe
Much like the Hard Road album its a decent track to start with, its got nice rhymes and production but isn't one of the groups best songs, it possibly loses a bit quality in the live performance.
2 - Clown Prince
A great sounding track for a live song, this sort of song is what live hip-hop gigs are for. Bouncy and funky with wicked lyrics this track has everything you could want from a live rap song, it definitely sounds better performed live here, the lyrics just sound that little bit more effective on this live recording.
3 - Circuit Breaker
Another track that sounds better live, the way the verses are written in this track, almost as if the mc's are talking to each other, works very well live, the music is pretty good to, very bouncy with the Beastie Boys sample used well for the chorus.
4 - What a Great Night
The music to this ones very similar to Lenny Kravitz 'Get away' track, which isn't a bad thing at all, again this is a track that sounds better on the live album than the studio version, the band just seem to have so much energy in their live performances, they don't miss a beat with their lyrics.
5 - City of Light
This track maybe loses a little of its effect live when it comes to the beats, but the performance of the lyrics keep it going, personally I prefer the studio version but I still really enjoy this track.
6 - Breath
When I first heard this I thought 'yeah this is what live music is really about', the performance of the lyrics just seems to have more energy and meaning listening to it on here compared to the studio version, its a cleaner sound on the Hard Road album but its always a good thing when you here someone live and they can exceed their studio sound (believe me I've seen a lot of live rap and many can't come close).
7 - Audience with the Devil
One of the more lyrically clever tracks the hoods have done, the live version splits the song in two, the first verse is rapped over the original music, while the second verse it performed to great effect over Kanye West's great 'Jesus Walks', you would think listening to it that the track was wrote for the Kanye music it fits so well. A great track.
8 - Certified Remix
One of the odder tracks on here, during the first half of the track the music is quite repetitive and dull, but it totally switches up into a very funky bouncy track which makes it totally worth listening to the first section for.
9 - Illusionary Lines
Listening to some of the other Hoods albums I've tried in my mind to compare there production to many, many others but the more I listen to them the more I believe they have their own sound, their production is too complicated and filled with to many different instruments from track ot track for your average rapper, and this song is a great example of that. The music is brilliant, and the raps performed with intensity and energy, both combining for a top song.
10 - The Calling
From the album of the same name, The calling is a decent enough track, I'm not really to keen on the chorus but I do like the verses and they do sound good live.
11 - Twilight
Much like Clown Prince this is a track made for live performances, the music is funky and bouncy, with many clever lyrics to compliment.
12 - Dumb Enough
One of my favourite HTH songs, and by the look of a live performance and the hype crowd on a video I saw on youtube one of the Hoods fans favourite tracks in general. There's several lines in the song which are perfect for gigs, memorable on the original songs and easy for the crowd to finish the lines of, love the chorus, love the beats, love the track in general.
13 - Testimonial Year
A decent sounding track, good beats with nice piano work in there, the lyrics are good and stand out well live but these guys are capable of better, sounds better on the studio album.
14 - Weekend Remix
The lyrics from the original track are performed over the Jackson 5's 'One More Chance', its sounds good but I imagine it's better live, this type of things a regular occurrence at rap gigs but its not often the Jackson 5 are picked to rap over.
15 - The Nosebleed Section
Another one of my personal favourite tracks, TNS's production is amazing, the use of the 2 main sampled lyrics are inspired but I especially love the 'I looked around for faces I'd know, I fell in love with the faces in the front row' one. I cant fault anything with this song and listening to it on this live album just makes me kick myself more I've missed the group live as recently as this years Glastonbury.
16 - The Hard Road
As with any live album the final track is one of the groups more famous and popular songs. I'm struggling to say anything bad about this track, it's possible in 6 months time this won't sound as good as it does now while it's new and fresh, but I doubt it very much. The group excel at these types of songs and you can feel the energy in the performance.
Overall a 9/10 for an amazing album considering its a recording of a live gig. I've seen and heard many live performance from many different genres of music and even legends, from Eminem to Iggy Pop, can sound bad live but the Hilltop Hoods manage to succeed in the difficult job of making their music sounds better live in most cases, seriously if you've listened to any of this band's music and like it go and get the free download to this album, recommend to all rap fans and fans of good live music.