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Kontiki (Deluxe Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

The deluxe edition of Cotton Mather’s Kontiki adds new luster to this bona fide cult classic. Kontiki still packs a wallop today, thanks to its ambitious, hook-studded songwriting and a production approach that's at once homegrown and sonically sophisticated. Robert Harrison’s insinuating John Lennon–style vocals, Whit Williams’ protean lead guitar work, and Dana Myzer’s aggressive drumming tear into the tunes with a mix of joy and desperation. Every track here is outstanding, with surging upbeat numbers like “My Before and After” and “Password” offering a pleasing contrast to woozy psychedelic pieces like “Aurora Bori Alice” and “Animal Show Drinking Song.” “Vegetable Row” deserves special kudos for its sarcastic, Dylanesque weirdness. In sum, Kontiki reveals a musical imagination that brings something personal (and slightly crazed) to the classic pop/rock formula. The deluxe edition’s full-sized helping of demos and discarded tunes range from the wistful “Innocent Street” to the hard-bashing “Alter Boy” and the ruefully spacy “Flying Annie’s Kite.”

Customer Reviews

The Best (before and after)

Today the entire Cotton Mather discography is finally available to the masses after more than a decade of sonic purgatory. "Kontiki" can now spark the ears of toddlers and bum-steerers alike, captains and squatters, minions and cowgirls, all of them basking in the medicinal power pop sunlight. They'll come in droves to hear noncapsizeable Cotton with their arsenal hymnal, argyle guitar, jugular and angled, angular and jangly, when nothing else can throw down but a full-blown riff from Kontiki's heart. Perhaps our alms have come in the form of this album. Perhaps now I can sit down and launch the catapults of Cotton onto crowds who for Cotton live.

The Next Beatles Album

The best twelve bucks I've spent in years. I haven't been this excited by music for a long time! It's like listening to the next Beatles album.

a true "desert island disc"

I received my Kon Tiki CD from Robert Harrison years ago after Cotton Mather played a show with my old band somewhere in the upper Midwest. I was blown away by their playing live, and the songs were just soooo good that I assumed many had to be obscure covers by the Move or the Action or some other late-sixties britpop bands. Normally when you exchange CDs after a show, they get lost in the van or forgotten at home, still wrapped in cellophane. But when i played Kon Tiki for the first time, i was gobsmacked. Every track is a stunner. Sure, it's "beatlesque." Sure Robert has a bit of a Lennon-like adenoidal delivery. But the album is an original creation that stands on its own. For me, I rank it with the first two Big Star records and the first Television record for sheer track-by-track power-pop consistency. Because of this, I recommend downloading the whole thing. But if you want a sampling, the standout tracks include "Camp Hill Rail Operator," "Spin My Wheels," "Lily Dreams On," "She's Only Cool," and "Autumn's Birds."

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Austin, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A brilliant fusion of the Beatles, Squeeze, Guided by Voices, and some less obvious influences, Austin-based power poppers Cotton Mather are one of those rare power pop groups who transcend their inspirations to create powerful and original music of their own. Formed in Austin in 1991, the original Cotton Mather (named of course after the famous Puritan preacher and author) lineup consisted of singer/guitarist Robert Harrison; his main foil, guitarist Whit Williams; bassist Matt Hovis; and drummer...
Full Bio
Kontiki (Deluxe Edition), Cotton Mather
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