Review Summary: Hilltop Hoods unleash their 4th full length State of the Art through their new record label Golden Era Records, owned by the Hood themselves. Proving that they are the still the undisputed kings of Australian Hip Hop.
While some will disagree with my statement above if you take a look back at The Hilltop Hoods previous albums and now this album, you will see that Mc’s Pressure and Suffa have some of the most intriguing, intelligent and of course funniest one liners in this genre and most genres.
Now in many ways this does and doesn’t live up to their previous efforts. It’s still a great Hilltop Hoods record and worthy of its rating but there are few standout tracks compared to The Hard Road and The Calling, with that being said the tracks that do standout are some of the Hoods best songs. Lead single Chase That Feeling being one of them. The piano at the start is incredibly catchy and has their trademark lyrics about struggles in getting to were they are today. Lyrically it has a similar feeling to the track The Hard Road off the eponymous album. Now it may seem repetitive but, is far from that. As I said before it’s catchy, and has both strong chorus and verses from Pressure and Suffa.
Other standouts are the songs Chris Farley, The Light You Burned and quite possibly Hilltop Hoods best song yet Fifty In Five. Chris Farley lyrics are pretty straight forward, basically about wanting to party with dead music, movie and TV personalities. With references to Farley, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Bon Scott, Biggie Smalls etc. Chris Farley is akin to the older Hilltop Hoods songs. Built on one-liners, such as. “I wanna die in Memphis like Elvis, senseless on the toilet pissing on my own pelvis.”
The Light You Burned is one of the two songs that features guest artists the other being Classic Example featuring Pharoahe Monch while The Light You Burned features Trials. Trials imo is the better off the two, lyrically and vocal adding a nice touch to the song.
Now to the last and best song on the record Fifty In Five, and yep you guessed it. Basically about the last fifty years in a five minute song. Suffa does this track by himself, and like most of the solo tracks the Hoods do it’s amazing. While I’ve always preferred Pressure to Suffa, Suffa makes this song all on his own. With intelligent lyrics dealing with issues from, wars to global warming to pretty much everything that has set that next generation of kids down a one way path. I won’t waste your time with putting the lyrics on here, you really need to hear the whole song in its entirety to grasp how powerful this song is.
DJ Debris gives the Hoods a unified sound, with an array beats from rock (The Light You Burned, Chase That Feeling), to the Sega/Nintendo inspired number (Parade Of The Dead), and the straight forward hip hop (She's So Ugly). Debris provides the backbone that makes these songs so catchy.
While State of the Art isn’t the Hilltop Hoods finest hour (44 minutes technically) it is by no means a poor record. With Pressure and Suffa’s clever lyrics and DJ Debris amazing and at times kooky beats, makes for joyous listen. State of the Art covers all grounds, with songs suitable for parties, driving or just chillin’ by yourself.