Review Summary: A very, very danceable rock opera.
Supposedly taking place in a dystopian future, but coming across rather a lot like the world we live in right now, Truth of the World: Welcome to the Show
is a romping, fun and thoroughly enjoyable look at the shallowness of the media world and its effects on life.
Oh, and it’s a rock opera.
Like most rock operas, it’s long winded with a running time of just over an hour. Unlike most rock operas, it never stumbles over its ideas, possibly because it avoids the mistake of taking itself too seriously. The songs are littered with imitations of the corporate world, such as the offers for a miracle drug, Truthogen, or the assurances that ‘Max is Stable’ alongside old-school cartoon sound effects.
However, in between all this mockery and laughing, is an underlying dark side to the album. Max is a troubled teenager who sees the truth in the world (no doubt another meaning to the albums title) and is disillusioned by it. There is also mention of the news stories that always get underplayed, like the violence in Africa (as found on the rumbling Front Page Story/Diamonds in the River
Concepts aside, what obviously really pulls this album along is the music. What the band lacks in technicality, they more than make up with excellent song writing. Each song rollicks along at its own pace, be it piano ballad (Truth of the World, pt 1
) or straight up dance-rock (Between The Lines
), adding new sounds and riffs before they get old, while still maintaining solid mainstream appeal. Many of the riffs are incredibly addictive, such as the bass line on the aforementioned song or the guitar in Everybody’s Doing It
Vocally, the Hume brothers (Jon, Dann and Peter – who make up the band in its entirety) have the potential to grate, and have done so in the past, but here, they seem to hit all the right notes. Perhaps the chorus to Hey Boys and Girls
is as annoying as they get, but they are capable of some heart rending moans. But it’s the other instruments which drive the album.
For me, reading negative reviews of this album makes me wonder if we’re even listening to the same album. This New Zealand band has made the best rock opera in years, certainly one of the most original sound wise. This record has the potential to be a heavy influence on the music industry, although I doubt it ever will be. Either way, I recommend this to everyone.