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Wishing Like a Mountain and Thinking Like the Sea

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Album Review

Wishing Like a Mountain and Thinking Like the Sea was a breakthrough album for Poi Dog Pondering, as AOR and college radio stations around the country began to discover the zany, eclectic, outdoor-summer jam-session sound of the Chicago-based band. The airtight hooks of songs like "Bury Me Deep," "Everybody's Trying," and "Thanksgiving" were catchy and radio-ready, while the goofy charm of tracks like "The Watermelon Song," "Big Beautiful Spoon," and "Spending the Day in the Shirt That You Wore" made the album a favorite with quirk-rock devotees. And on every track, the band's globetrotting instrumental inventiveness was infectious and impressive. Lead singer Frank Orrall played a mind-bogglingly wide array of instruments on the record, from guitar and piano to frying pan and "bicycle with playing cards." The drums and percussion by Dick Ross and John Nelson helped to create a world music vibe that outdid Rusted Root at their own game before that world/jam band hit the scene, and the band's dynamic use of Susan Voelz's string performances (on Italian classical violin and octave violin) seems to anticipate another later jam rock sensation, Dave Matthews Band. Wishing Like a Mountain is an irresistible party of an album.

Customer Reviews

The Gem of Their Early Catalog

With its second release, Poi Dog Pondering shook off the neo-hippie aura surrounding its prior work and released its most earnest and catchy collection. The production here is crisp, the songwriting of lead man Frank Orall is at its peak, and the band gives a frenetic, full-out performance. In a career of many peaks, this album is easily the gem of PdP's early catalog. The entire album deserves a listen, but if you're scanning for standout tracks try "Bury Me Deep," "Fruitless," "Sugarbush Cushman," and "Praise the Lord" (apparently inspired by the movie "Zorba the Greek").

Love them

OMG - I'm so glad to get to download this album - This is my all time favorite band and album but I pawned their albums when I was broker than broke in 1995 - Thank you Itunes for giving me back my Poi - poignant, lively and thought provoking music that will make you see life in a different light!!


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,...
Full Bio
Wishing Like a Mountain and Thinking Like the Sea, Poi Dog Pondering
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Customer Ratings