Album Details

Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Chamber Pop

Album Review

Sean O'Hagan has a gift for orchestral pop, creating lush soundscapes that are awash with sonic detail. He clearly owes a lot to Brian Wilson, and Hawaii, the High Llamas' third album, falls somewhere between Pet Sounds and SMiLE. Sonically, the rich, orchestrated production is reminiscent of the former, but Hawaii is paced like SMiLE, with brief instrumentals and song fragments framing the full-fledged songs. Each is carefully arranged and recorded, offering an inviting tapestry of strings, guitars, keyboards, brass, and percussion. For much of Hawaii, the sound of the record is intoxicating, but the album drags over the course of 77 minutes. Among the 29 tracks, there are some beautiful moments and gorgeous songs, but Hawaii winds up being too much of a good thing, lacking the focus of Gideon Gaye. [The American edition of Hawaii contains a 40-minute, six-track bonus disc, containing material previously unreleased in the U.S., including the B-sides for the Nomads single.]
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Cuckoo Casino
  2. Sparkle Up
  3. Literature Is Fluff
  4. Nomads
  5. Snapshot Pioneer
  6. Ill-Fitting Suits
  7. Recent Orienteering
  8. The Hot Revivalist
  9. Phoney Racehorse
  10. Dressing up the Old Dakota
  11. D.C. 8
  12. Doo-Wop Property
  13. Theatreland
  14. A Friendly Pioneer
  15. Cuckoo's Out
  16. Peppy
  17. There's Nobody Home
  18. The Hokey Curator
  19. Campers in Control
  20. Double Drift
  21. Island People
  22. Incidentally N.E.O.
  23. Tides
  24. Nomad Strings
  25. Pilgrims
  26. Rustic Vespa
  27. Folly Time
  28. Hawaiian Smile
  29. Instrumental Suits
  30. Might as Well Be Dumbo [*]
  31. Cropduster [*]
  32. Mini-Management [*]
  33. Chime of a City Clock [*]
  34. Literature Is Fluff [*][Instrumental]
  35. 3 Frame Offset [*]