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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

4.3

Bliss N Eso
Flying Colours

Over the past few years Bliss N Eso (who confusingly consist of three members) have been existing in the shadows of Australia's premium hip-hop act - Hilltop Hoods. Thanks to 'the Hoods' taking a bit of a break and continual high radio rotation and love from Triple J the group now have their time in the sun.

Flying Colours, the trio's third record, opens with the required-by-law intro before leading into the 'get people pumped track' - Woodstock 2008. It's fast tempo and high energy isn't able to hide the weak rhymes that plague this entire release. As seems to be the case with a large portion of local hip-hop, the production heavily outshines the vocals. The drum beats, cleverly injected samples and scratches on this record are brilliant. Unfortunately, however, for the most part, the lyrics seem to have been dumbed down and missing the cleverly inserted double-meanings and metaphors that have become a key attribute of the genre over the past 15-or-so years.

Another element that moves this record to 'da shit bin' is the large amount of recycled ideas and formulas. Several points are lost straight away with the piss-weak 'biting' of the Nas line "I'm at the, gamblin spot, my hands on a knot", on the track Royal Flush, with only the word "knot" replaced with "cock", immaturely killing the flow of the original line. To someone like me who lived and breathed hip-hop for a large chunk of the mid-90's these moments where the group sneak past showing their obvious references and move dangerously close to plagiarism is what destroys the overall enjoyment of the album.

However, this album isn't without it's pleasurable moments. The lead single, Bullet and a Target, recorded with a 20-piece Zulu choir, is maybe the best 'get up, stand up' Australian hip-hop song that The Herd never recorded. Eye Of The Storm which samples Angus and Julia Stone (a first?) contains some of the stronger verses on the album and features several moments of clashing genres and ideas that work really well. The repeated theme of what sounds like samples from early Australian television shows that are sprinkled across several tracks adds a nice flow to the record. Also, the opening stanza of The Sea Is Rising has some very strong wordplay from Bliss, delivered with true conviction and emotion, which, unfortunately, isn't heard across a larger portion of the record.

What makes other hip-hop groups successful is that they mainly focus on what they know. This strict belief of 'keeping it real' (I know that sounded kinda 'white') has always been a key part of the foundation of rap music and, unfortunately, Bliss N Eso present almost no insight into their life or their surrounds. Aside from the accents and the way they've spelt the word 'colour', there is very little connection between the group and their country of origin.

Out of the 17 tracks on this marathon 67-minute effort there is roughly three or four enjoyable snippets. I have very little doubt the guys have some talent but the continual switch in focus, poor execution and blatant ripping off of ideas masks this. Australian hip-hop is a lot better than what this record shows.

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Bliss N Eso

 

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Comments

troyox

dont really rate them, cant say "'ossie"' hip hop floats my boat in the best of times, The best thing of Ive ever heard come out of this country was Muph and Plutonics cover of Talking Heads, Once in a lifetime.

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

i didn't mind muph and plutonics song 'heaps good' but i think it was more stupidly funny than actually good..

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

debuted at number 10 on the ARIA charts.. whoa..

1 decade ago

flukazoid

radio behind them..check
suitable gap in market at present..check
record company doing their job..check

voila, aria topping album

I heard the single on FBI yesterday. I thought it was neither bad nor good, so I'm going to sit on the fence for the time being

1 decade ago

Aaaaaaaaaron

Album of the year

1 decade ago

Aaaaaaaaaron

Sorry I've got to stop being a smart arse.

1 decade ago

toemouse

The album was great. Your review was NOT! I dont think you really know what you are on about. Do you actually listen to any hiphop?
"lyrics seem to have been dumbed down and missing the cleverly inserted double-meanings and metaphors that have become a key attribute of the genre over the past 15..." So the key to a good album is wordplay? There is a good quote on Illmaculates mixtape aobut how he pittys people like you for still "being stuck in the first stage" You really dont understand hiphop. And if you think that tracks like "Bullet and a Target" and "Eye Of The Storm" are some of the better ones then you really are stupid. They would probably be my mums favourite songs if she listened to the album. These guys are fresh, different, clever, witty have great flow and great rhymes and yes some of the rhymes are dummed down.... and thats what makes them good. Cuase if you can dumb down your rhymes and still make them flow and sound good then you are starting to master the art! Basically dont write such critical review about something you dont know much about. review a foo fighter album or something!

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

Posted By: toemouseyes some of the rhymes are dummed down.... and thats what makes them good. Cuase if you can dumb down your rhymes and still make them flow and sound good then you are starting to master the art!


????

not sure i understand....

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

surely it's not too much for me to expect hip-hop music to combine intelligent lyrics with a solid flow and delivery..

it seems as though others have been able to achieve this in the past...

eg. Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, Black On Both Sides, any of KRS-One's early work etc..

1 decade ago

Sean

Posted By: toemouseaobut pittys dummed Cuase

you really are stupid.

1 decade ago

monachilada

ha!

1 decade ago

monachilada

hey toemouse, which one are you related to, Bliss or Eso?
thats the only excuse for trying to defend a middle of the road australian hip hop album that no one remember in a few years, by trying to compare it to 'real' hip-hop.

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

did Dan Walrus go to school with one of them?

1 decade ago

monachilada

yeah. steiner kids. or however you spell it.
i think they both went there.

1 decade ago

daking89

I totally agree with you about Woodstock 2008 - it's absolute rubbish. I wrote a review here: http://breezymusicnews.blogspot.com/2008/05/review-bliss-n-eso-flying-colours.html

1 decade ago

gemdilem

daking I think you sum it up nicely when you say "If this is the future of Aussie hip hop then I'm worried for their next album" ... which I think leads on nicely to a new discussion...

is there a future for aussie hip hop?
discuss...

also, does anyone know any good emerging aussie hip hop?

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

snob scrilla ... although he is american... i think

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

american born at least

1 decade ago

SusieChick

'WHAT THE BLEEP DO YOU KNOW?'

I guess anyone can paste their idiotic reviews on the net these day. I really hope you don't actually get paid for your shallow effortless attempt at reviewing music. Not only is Bliss N Eso's music great to listen to, it has a lot to say to people everywhere.

They bring attention to real political issues in a way that a younger generation can understand and relate to. They promote acceptance, multiculturalism and peace. Their music always has a positive attitude and is true to their personal opinions and morals.

These boys certainly are "Syd City's Finest" and I cant wait to see where their music takes them.

9 years ago

Jonny Yes Yes

OPINIONS!

9 years ago

Sean

do you think she has been seething about that review since last may and only now was able to focus her anger into those words (complete with typo in the first sentence)?

9 years ago

flukazoid

I can handle typos. We all do it.

But she really has to learn to make a proper case for justifying the many unsubstantiated platitudes she chucked out in that response... especially after Jonny quite clearly articulated his reasons for giving the album a low score, which - although probably not considered to be of great importance by the Triple J demographic - are valid and definitely address key aspects of what makes a hip-hop record "great".

As far as the stuff about political issues, acceptance, multiculturalism, peace etc... I personally didn't find anything particularly in-depth in the record and I certainly don't think it has the power to be a notable force in defining the mindset of today's culture. It all felt pretty token to me.

But hey, SusieChick, at the end of the day if the record really has you "feeling it" then that's awesome, and at the end of the day that's hopefully what any artist would hope to achieve for their listeners. That's all personal and no-one can tell you what you like and what you don't.

However, don't get your panties in a knot if someone else considers it to be inferior to some of the work by other artists out there, which I think was basically the point Jonny was trying to get across.

9 years ago

Metaphysicist

What on earth is THIS?! Your lack of intelligence attempting to formulate a review disturbs me.
Work on evaluating how your message will be percieved before you publish a review.
You missed out every symbol, ideology, and message Bliss N Eso were trying to convey.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Colours_%28Bliss_n_Eso_album%29
Look at this if you want unbiased facts free from the idiocracy of this review's ignorance.
Searching each song listed in youtube will give you a sample to formulate your opinion for yourself.

6 years ago

harness yr. hopes

*you're

6 years ago

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