Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Tim Coffman - The Rhythms Of paradisedotdotdot
artworkOne of the things I noticed about these songs is that they often invoked images that fit the names. I seldom look at a song's title before writing, and when I did that here, I was struck by how often what the song projected for me was at least in part what the title implied. This album is an adventure in the kind of island sounds that have often defined the romance of Hawaii for tourists for decades. The Rhythms Of paradise is a very pleasant CD, but I only found a couple of tracks here to remember or come back to. Some music is just very effective as a scene device, and this is one of those works. It would be a great soundtrack to the end of your next luau. There's no surf here at all, just a lovely voyage through paradise.
Picks: Big Wave Gypsies, Honolulu City Swing, Waikiki Two-Step, Cat And Mouse, Fresh Roses, Aloha Beach, Big Island Rodeo, Kona Cowboys, One Night In Lahaina, Low Tide, Ka Hula O Na Niu (The Dance At The Palm Trees), Sunset At Waikiki

Track by Track Review

Big Wave Gypsies dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

Slide guitars and delicate island rhythms of the fifties lounge-exotica variety portray tourist dreams of glassy walls and wahines. Pretty and soothing, but the digital reverb o the toms is overbearing at times.

Honolulu City Swing dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

Like Don Ho for guitar, "Honolulu City Swing" displays a lighthearted island getaway sound that's very nice.

Waikiki Two-Step dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

"Waikiki Two-Step" is a frothy track with long sliding Hawaiian guitar and liquid cruise adventure. Very enjoyable.

Cat And Mouse dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

With a bit of a funky R&B beat, "Cat And Mouse" plays out like a late night bar melody at closing time. It's quite nice.

Fresh Roses dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

Solo piano opens for a sax romancer. A pretty melody embarks on a holiday last dance in the moonlight.

Aloha Beach dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

Soft and lush in that weeping guitar island way, "Aloha Beach" has a lot to offer for after hours connections.

Big Island Rodeo dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

This playful number almost laughs as it romps through the grasses of the high ranches on Big Island. Its childlike innocence is quite remarkable.

Kona Cowboys dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

In an almost country vein, "Kona Cowboys" ride while weeping lap steel and tremolo keys shimmer over light drums and bass. This is the one track here that I found to really demand listening, where the rest are more like a backdrop to other activities. Very nicely arranged with a warm and friendly sound.

One Night In Lahaina dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

This is a slow moonlit number with a soft melody and easy flow. Its imagery is pretty strong, though it's more of a scene setter than a focussed listener.

Low Tide dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

"Low Tide" is a very slow and romantic piece, with long slide notes and a sad melody. Its impact is one of heart. Quite beautiful.

Ka Hula O Na Niu (The Dance At The Palm Trees) dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

Holidays on palm-lined beaches after sunset. Frothy and sweeping in a soft but epic fashion. "Ka Hula O Na Niu" paints the kind of island picture films like to use.

Sunset At Waikiki dotdotdot
Hawaiian Vacation (Instrumental)

The long slowly rising slide chords paint a picture of evening walks and moonlit connections. "Sunset At Waikiki" is a very pretty track.