An album by the Australian Hip-Hop
group 'Hilltop Hoods
, released May 12th 2007 (In Australia). It is a remixed version of their previous album; 'The Hard Road', featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
(ASO). It also features new verses for some songs, one new song and guest appearances from MC
s Okwerdz, Omni, Mystro, Braintax and DJ
Reflex. The songs are mostly in a cencored form, as the result of a misunderstanding over the terms of the agreement with the ASO. It was launched with a live show
featuring the ASO, and MCs Okwerdz and Mystro. The launch was recorded, and is to be featured on an (as of yet) unreleased DVD.
1. The Hard Road Restrung
The original was fantastic, but they somehow made it better. This song is simply great, it conveys meaning without you even noticing, and it just sounds amazing. It keeps you coming back for another taste of its musical sweetness.
2. Stopping all Stations Restrung
This song is very depressing, but intentionally so. I honestly think that the original had a better beat and the lyrics were clearer, it sounds a little crowded now. It's still good, but not AS good as the original. This is one of the songs that has been given a new verse, the third of which has been replaced, but it makes less sense and doesn't flow as well as it did before.
3. Conversations From a Speakeasy Restrung (Featuring Okwerdz & Omni)
Equally good as the original, but simply different. The original was more relaxed, this one is more energetic. The guest appearances from the original have been replaced. Not one of my favourites, but by no means bad listening.
4. An Audience With the Devil Restrung
The boys get a bit deep on this one, but they pull it off without coming off as pretentious. This one is an improvement on an already great song, and the orchestra has been integrated wonderfully. It's the kind of musical elegance you just can't resist.
5. Monsters Ball Restrung
This one has a tendency to drag on, and it doesn't feature the same clever lyrics as most of the others. It uses the kind of epic sound that could've been put to better use. I generally regard it as a nice bit of somewhat unneccessary filler.
6. Breathe Restrung
VERY similar to the original, very little input from the orchestra, so not a great deal better than the original. This is a great night-time chill-out song, as was the original, and both are great. Not the kind of songs that grab your attention immediately, but they slowly pull you in.
7. Another Great Intro
Exactly the same as the original, which was called 'What a Great Intro'. This is 18 seconds long, and doesn't feature any music. Basically it's like a radio play, where a guy gets home from a long night's partying (presumably one similar to those featured in the next track), to find that his S.O. is leaving for work. BORING.
8. What a Great Night Restrung
Very good stuff here, a great beat and a nice interplay between the original accompaniment and the orchestra. It features a new verse that I don't like, as it seems to reduce the light-hearted nature of the original. A good bit of shallow fun.
9. Obese Lowlifes Restrung (Featuring Mystro & Braintax)
I don't like this one at all, it doesn't feature any of the great melodies or wonderfully flowing rhythms that the Hilltop Hoods have been providing us with for years. A few improvements from the orchestra, but not enough. It features MCs Mystro and Braintax, who are british as far as I know. Fortunately it's a short one.
10. City of Light Restrung
Reminiscent of the Hoods' older work, this one feels like it belong on 'A Matter of Time'. It has a very heavy beat, a nice flow, and the orchestra nicely adds to the general vibe of the song. I'm pretty indifferent to it, but I can appreciate its virtues.
11. Clown Prince Restrung
A wonderful remake of the original, which adds so much more life to the song. I found the original monotonous, but the subtle background orchestrals make this one feel quite bouncy. I find it far more accessible than before, and it features some hi-larious little jokes here and there.
12. The Captured Vibe Restrung
This one is interesting not so much in its makeup, but in its use. It feels almost like an intro to 'Recapturing the Vibe Restrung', but on the original album this was places at the very end with 'Recapturing the Vibe' placed at the very beginning, giving the album a cyclic quality. Here they have disregarded this, and simply used it as a standard intro. It sounds pretty much exactly the same as 'Recapturing the Vibe Restrung', only shorter and without lyrics. While very good as an intro, at times it feels unneccessary, since 'Recapturing the Vibe' already has quite a long lead-up.
13. Recapturing the Vibe Restrung
Pure brilliance, a piece of truly epic proportions. It's the kind of song that makes you feel feel empty when it's over. I can't say any more.
14. Roll on Up
This is the new song, not featured on 'The Hard Road'. While it doesn't exactly leave a huge impression on you, it is still very good listening. A bit more 'boppy' than the rest of the album, it's a nice little musical tit-bit. This song always reminds me of a merry-go-round for some reason.
I have to say, this one is a welcome addition to the Hilltop Hoods' impressive discography, and is a bold move in the music industry that few others could have pulled off with such grace. Not without its faults, this would have to be one of me favourite albums to date.