his gorgeous cover should help to answer your first question — “Is this cutesy moderne Exotica?” Nope. This album is a straight-on visit to classic Exotica. Most of the songs are new compositions, and they fit right in with the classics. Waitiki’s earlier album, Charred Mammal Flesh was a fun party album, and did a great job of showcasing Waitiki’s fun spirit and musical chops — but it didn’t really illustrate just how well these guys know classic Exotica. And they know Exotica.
Perhaps my favorite song on this new album is “L’Ours Chinois,” composed by Professah Humming Flower himself, Randy Wong. It’s just beautiful — I can easily picture this song being picked up for use on a film soundtrack. Another favorite of mine is “Cave of the Tarpon,” composed by The Mayor of Exotica, Tim Mayer. In a nod to Waitiki’s legendary kookiness, there’s the smooth-flavored song “Pineapple Lilt,” a tribute to the Molokai Bar at the Mai-Kai, with velvety vocals.
Listening to this album, I’m reminded about my favorite aspect of Waitiki: they bring this stuff to life. They’re a healthy reminder of where this music came from — lounges in Waikiki, where the intention was to entertain a small group of happy souls, on vacation, falling in love with each other, Mai Tais, and this music.
In a very cool and unusual move, Waitiki is also releasing this album on vinyl. The CD has room for more songs of course, but vinyl purchasers are rewarded with a song not available on the CD, “Akaka Falls.”
I simply cannot get enough of Waitiki — as a matter of fact, I am so in need of a proper Waitiki fix, that I’m on my way to the airport right now to see them… -Humu Kon Tiki blog
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