Fat Freddy’s Drop has an unmistakable blend of musical herbs and spices. On their new project Special Edition Part 1, the band experiments with a more psychedelic infusion of influences. The New Zealand band brings soulful and funk-driven energy to a variety of different styles, from electronica to dub. R&B vocals with colorful reggae instrumentation will always go over smoothly, making the way for an easy 30 minutes.
The retro synths kicking off the album are lofi and kooky, delivering listeners into a synth accented reggae jam. The song “OneFourteen” is another slow-moving reggae track incorporating elements of ’80s synth-pop. Despite its awkwardness, the song is a unique and creative blend of way too many things to keep track of. “Raleigh Twenty” is a fun highlight, chunky drum grooves build a steady base for the crispy trumpets and funky Moog bass. The production is familiar but always evolving and reminding people of genres and influences the band might be going for. Each song is a kaleidoscope of positive musical energy.
The song “Special Edition” is like the band’s entire thesis: easy-going funky jams and some cheesy, no worries vibes. This band exists to make people smile and forget their problems, and this is shown in both the lively instrumentation and upbeat lyrics. “Trickle Down” and “Six-Eight instrumental” are less successful and cohesive than the other tracks. The latter, a synthy IDM warp record experiment sounds good but fails to fit in with the other tracks.
Overall Special Edition Part 1 has some colorful songs with excellent instrumentation and creative influences. There is a lack of polish and follow-through, but the band makes great music to just lay back and vibe out with. Fat Freddy’s Drop is able to take risks while bringing some joy into the world.