Manko Eponymous – Kaihealoha (CD)

”Melodia” has a number of styles immediately present, linking together African tribal sounds with Indian and Middle Eastern flavors, all while the vocals straddle the line between rock and New Wave. What results during a song like “Melodia” and the entirety of Manko Eponymous’ “Kaihealoha” is a truly special album that touches upon all lands and influences by the time that the final track grinds to a close. “Battlecry” is a track that is similarly strong; the instrumentation during this track immediately makes a vocal point, building up a strong foundation with which the vocals can thus soar. It is during “Battlecry” that Manko Eponymous expands upon what was touched on during “Melodia”, taking on the work of Alice Cooper, Midnight Oil, and even a little bit of The Doors before things finish up.

“Pura Dai” is another track that stands out strongly from the already-impressive work of Manko Eponymous on “Kaihealoha”. While the instruments are the primary focus of the track, what results is a rich, varied track with an easy to follow narrative. Listeners are taken on a journey for the entirety of the track, something that is continued to great aplomb during the Native American-influenced tack taken during “Eliseo”. The use of natural sounding, Native types of chanting is part of a chiaroscuro that is completed with a sequenced synthesizer. The blend of natural and electronic makes for an impressive track that will stick with listeners for days, if not weeks, after they finish up with the album. The eclectic approach taken by Eponymous at all points of “Kaihealoha” is what will make fans continue to come back to this album. Even if the individual has listened to the disc a number of times, the unique brush strokes that Eponymous takes with each track will still surprise and delight.

I may not have had the chance to hear anything that Manko Eponymous has put out in the past, but I know I’ve favorited his Myspace in the hope that I can get in on the ground floor whenever he may come out with a new batch of songs. If you like music that pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable and beautiful, make it a point to purchase “Kaihealoha”; you will not regret it.

Top Tracks: Pura Dai, Alive

Rating: 8.2/10

Manko Eponymous – Kaihealoha / 2008 Zed / 14 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/meponymous

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