Search - High Llamas :: Hawaii

High Llamas
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (27) - Disc #1

Reissued in an LP Style Slipcase.


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CD Details

All Artists: High Llamas
Title: Hawaii
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: V2
Original Release Date: 7/29/1997
Re-Release Date: 9/24/1997
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 638812700421


Album Details
Reissued in an LP Style Slipcase.

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CD Reviews

Dressing up the Brian Wilson/Giving it another shot
Stanley Beaker | Beachy Head, England | 03/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Well, any wonderfully uninspired music critic must surely believe that artists employ stock 'beach boys' harmonies in order to enhance the emotional resonance of their creation, much in the same way, I suppose, that bands lump an orchestra at the back and instruct them to pump poignancy into a dog of a ballad. Consequently, every record with harmonies is, fairly or unfairly, belittled into being 'Beach Boys-like', and really, every record sounds like the beach boys if you listen hard enough, or if you don't listen at all. The much less common 'Brian Wilson'-like description refers to the soundscapes Wilson used on the Beach Boys records and so because popular groups have still yet to adopt the 'banjo-vibes-harpsichord-rustic rattles' set-up the tag has almost exclusively been stapled to the legs of Sean O'Hagan's High Llamas. Furthermore 'Hawaii' is said to not only emulate the rich, exotic instrumentation of the Beach Boys circa 1965/66 but more specifically the incomplete 'SMiLE' album. Is there a reason for this ultimately dismissive and condescending, comparison? Maybe it's because 'Hawaii' doesn't sound like anyone else in contemporary popular music, and, well, you've got to compare innovative artists to somebody, surely? But it was SMiLE that marked the peak of Wilson's module song structures, it would have relied heavily on complex group harmonies and it was so experimental that its lofty ambitions were never realised. The High Llamas, on the other hand, employ a more leisurely, flowing, instrumental soundtrack style, with vocals far less prominent and O'Hagan himself coming on with the endearing euphoric fragility of the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne. Of course there are similarities to the Beach Boys work, O'Hagan's lyrics do adopt Van Dyke Park's mischievous abstract wordplay for example, but ignore SMiLE, direct you attention to Pet Sounds' 'Let's Go Away For Awhile'. It conjures a similar escape fantasy, a soundtrack to a canyon drive, hot midday sun flickering through the trees above. Ultimately, and unlike Brian (unfortunately), Sean O'Hagan was able to realise his high ambitions, creating something unique, timeless, remarkably consistent, where those 'O'Hagan'-like sad, yearning but sparkle-eyed melodies perpetuate. Maybe it's too polished, maybe it could have been rawer with some of the Wilson's sessions strange electrical charge, and, you know, at 29 tracks and 77 minutes maybe it's too long, but I say that, and, you know, I'd be happy for the gorgeously haunting codas to 'Nomads' and 'Dressing Up The Old Dakota' to continue their cyclical journeys outwards, onwards and upwards."
All yime best top ten
geotune | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"pet sounds, revolver, village green preservation society -- just a few of the best albums ever. add high llamas' hawaii to the top ten list. totally original and meticulously crafted. if you like intelligent, addicting, orchestrated pop, this is it!"