Martin Denny - Manila

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- 'borrowed' from my Amazon Prime access


There are many negative things you can say about exotica music in general and Martin Denny in particular: the music is kitchsy and corny, it's "easy listening" music, and its sole purpose was to aid a mass audience in getting slowly stoned on martinis.


All of which is true - nevertheless, I love Martin Denny. The innocence of the music and integrity and care in the production win me over. Martin has an unashamedly corny sense of humor, with one song in which a mosquito's buzz is the primary focus, and numerous songs punctuated by beautifully executed birdcalls. It's all put together seamlessly, as if these elements were the most natural things in the world to include.


The production is meticulous, and the music surprisingly does not become repetitive or monotonous, which is no small feat in this style. The music is not of Hawaii or Polynesia or any other "real" culture, but a complete commercial fabrication, the world of the tiki lodge and resort Hawaii.


It brings the guilty pleasures of a Hawaiian vacation into your living room, soothes the spirit, and lets the mind drift away. A must for summer nights on the deck.

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