Fat Freddy's Drop is extremely popular in their native New Zealand where Based on a True Story has gone platinum eight times over. I think that means that virtually everyone in the country has a copy.

The big band refers to themselves as a “seven-headed soul monster” and that is an apt description for the earthy music they play. “Ernie” is a slow, dreamy reggae that grooves with sublime dub effects and flute fills for about four minutes before the vocals kick in.

“Cay's Crays” has a similar Caribbean feeling but “Ray Ray” starts off as a chill-out number. The song remains relaxed throughout but the instrumentation gets progressively funkier as it goes along.

Smoky, elegant and completely non-invasive, Based on a True Story makes for a potent aphrodisiac should listeners be so inclined. The bluesy, gospel-flavored “Hope” closes out the band's impressive entry into the North American market.

Grade: A