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Natural Thing

Poi Dog Pondering

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Album Review

Chicago's best-kept secret, Poi Dog Pondering, gave up an ill-advised venture into electronica. They now return to making beautiful, rich pop music with Natural Thing. Poi Dog is doing what they do best in a studio: rich arrangements with an array of instruments supporting intelligent and moving songs. This 11-member music ensemble combines elements of blue-eyed soul, pop, rock, funk and techno in a unique and unforgettable blend. Plenty of violins, violas, and cellos go into each track here. Poi Dog is the brainchild of its bandleader Frank Orrall, who sings, quite well, on most tracks. However, guest vocalist Carla Prather sings beautifully on four of the tracks. Another foundation member of the group is multi-instrumentalist Paul Mertens, who solos and plays exquisitely on one of any number of flutes, saxophones, the harmonica, or the bass clarinet. Poi Dog's music often earns "joyous" for a description, and this is eminently true.


Formed: 1986 in Hawaii

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

The eclectic worldbeat/folk-rock outfit Poi Dog Pondering were formed in Waikiki by vocalist/guitarist Frank Orrall, violinist/vocalist Susan Voelz, and multi-instrumentalist Dave "Max" Crawford, the only constants in the group's history; sometimes swelling to upwards of ten members, the band has seen numerous personnel shifts. Named in part for a Hawaiian expression meaning "mutt," Poi Dog Pondering relocated to Austin, TX, and picked up a following through extensive touring; they released two EPs,...
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Natural Thing, Poi Dog Pondering
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