Personally I'm not really a fan of music reviews, but today I did buy Hilltop Hoods - The Hard Road: Restrung which happens to be the day it came out. It hits the streets a year after the original was released, minus the strings. Initially the Hoods did really well, they got commercial air play and won a bunch of recording artist awards.
Growing up I learnt the piano which produced within me a continual appreciation for classical music. More recently I have been fascinated with Australia Hip Hop and these boys are on top of it.
Throwing the CD into the player I was hoping to relive the experience from Metallica's unrehearsed and recorded live S&M album. My hopes were short lived as all aspects were studio recorded. It would be my guess the a capella's were extracted from the original album tape's and pieced together after recording the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO). Nonetheless there are some nice surprises.
The track order is not the same, surprising as the artwork almost is. Restrung features a complete new track called Roll On Up. You do want something new when buying something you already have. My favorite is Pressure's new verse in What A Great Night, unexpected and keeps you glued to the speaker hoping you can find any more easter eggs.
Probably my biggest gripe is that the swearing has been cut out. It breaks the flow of the track and at first you think the CD has skipped. I can see the logic, it will make the CD just that little bit more appealing to the classical listeners. For those who know the track and sing along will find it harder to enjoy the rest of the song.
To me, any artist who does a mash up with an orchestra deserves high praise. Showing maturity and respect for other genre's, making them more human than rock star. Tonight the Hilltop Hoods will be performing live with the ASO, I hope it produces another DVD like The Calling Live.