Album review: Fat Freddy’s Blackbird

I’ve been waiting for the new album by Wellington’s Fat Freddy’s Drop for a long time.

The new album, Blackbird, which was released in June, is their third studio album and the first studio album since 2009.

Fat Freddy’s Drop are my favourite Kiwi band due to their talents that cross numerous genre.

They deliver wonderful tunes that are a fusion of soul, funk, jazz, blues, dub, reggae and dance. The powerful basslines and horn sections mix seemlessly with the wonderful vocal talents of Jo Dukie and mixing of DJ Mu.

This new album is a wonderful showcase of their talents and they have stuck to a winning formula.

There are many Kiwi bands with similar styles but Fat Freddy’s Drop have a sound that is very unique and very Kiwi.

It’s full of soul like all their previous albums and I love the fact that they are so grounded as musicians.

I have a lot of other, more underground albums from other bands but I still love FFD’s sound the best.

I first encountered them in 2003 at a small pub garden in Takaka, Golden Bay, where they were opening for Salmonella Dub. I was glad I caught them, enjoyed them and waited with many others for their debut studio album in 2005.

Their live shows are the best I’ve been to. Their gigs are amazing and they jam instead of just playing the album songs as they sound on the album.

I saw them in Christchurch in 2006 and it still rates as the best gig I’ve seen and I’ve done the Glastonbury/Reading music festivals in the UK as well as Metallica and the Rolling Stones in NZ to mention only a few.

But that Freddy’s gig at the University that year was awesome. I suppose it helped I was front row, centre.

Great album and my Ipod is getting a thrashing with it!

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