New Sounds of Exotica
The Waitiki 7
You've passed Exotic Rhythms 101. You can mambo and cha-cha-cha, and you do a passable birdcall. Plus, you know that the second rum barrel should NOT be administered to yourself on an empty stomach. Where do you go from there? The Waitiki 7's answer, their 2010 album New Sounds of Exotica. Their focus is on a little more depth getting thrown into the mix, and it sure does. Like the Grateful Dead when everybody left the stage except for the drummers. The Dead keep coming to mind in relation to Waitiki, a band with a strong live following, who have a noted preference for an intoxicant (in this case, rum!), as well as a devotion to musicality that many bands tend to ignore in their quest to rock out or chart or freak people out. Maybe its the jungle though. The lush sounds that the Rhythm Devils and Waitiki both present hearken back to the days when we all lived somewhere among a canopy of trees and scary animals (have you SEEN Abe Lagrimas, Jr.). Great album, filled with exotica standards and songs that are rapidly becoming Waitiki standards (they throw 1 or 2 like China Fan on most of their albums, like a groovy reminder that the album is part of a greater body of work that is slowly growing.)
All in all, this album gets 4.5 outta 5 stars, and that ½ star is only cuz its treading over a fair amount of already covered ground, but what are you gunna do, horn section? mass chanted vocals again? hoochi-koochi dancers? this one's a little more complex. Mighty good album, Like Laurie Anderson doing Mister Heartbreak after United States. You know their work, you appreciate it, its great to get down with on a Friday evening after you've survived another whirlwind week. But hmm, maybe its time for a double album with a theme. If you dig Hawaii, exotic rhythms, polynesian cocktails or just like smooth jazz with post-latin rhythms and vibes, you'll be in hog heaven.