Brisbane hip hop/soul collective Impossible Odds have recently dropped their debut full length release, Against All Odds. Having absolutely nothing to do with the godawful and cheesy Phil Collins song from the mid eighties of the same name, Impossible Odds thankfully don’t overplay the Aussie hip hop angle with their music.

Opening with the compelling “Everything”, featuring a great guest spot from vocalist Georgia Cowra, on a lyrical level, Against All Odds is a compelling and at times hard hitting vision of what it means to be Australian with an Indiginous background at this time and place in the world. Addressing issues such as Facebook, police brutality, faith and masculinity, Against All Odds is an intelligent and very enjoyable addition to the hip hop genre.

MC Rival (AKA Fred Leone) has a strong point of view about the state of the Australia in 2011. He is totally unafraid and at times utterly fearless in expressing his point of view. “Fireproof” is a great track for this. Lyrically, it encourages people to stand up for themselves and kick what debilitates their lives, such as marijuana and alcohol. A timely and timeless message. To his credit, MC Rival never comes off as preachy and stating the bleedingly obvious.

Other great tracks on Against All Odds include “Soul Of The Troubadour”, the powerful “Take This Message” and “Identity”.

On a sonic level, the album shows off a great use of beats and samples, that never take over or away anything from the lyrical impact of the assembled songs. It strikes a really nice balance and shows MC Rival’s understanding and belief in what he has to say.

This is a very good release from an interesting up and comer on the Australian hip hop scene. Recommended.

– Neil Evans