25 Feb 2018
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Modern Maori Quartet - Album Review: That's Us

01 Oct 2017 // A review by butch181

The Modern Māori Quartet’s album That’s Us is an upbeat and wholesome compilation of fun tracks. They put it perfectly themselves, referring to themselves at the start of Who We Are as the Māori equivalent of Michael Bublé, a name synonymous with an incredibly smooth voice, and a charm and modesty that makes his music something that nobody can hate.  

Punching is a hilarious lounge-style track that is pleasant to listen to, incredibly easy to listen to, and very funny when you actually take note of the lyrics. Being able to insert “mullet” and “Lynx Africa” into the lyrics, is a testament to their flexibility in musical style. Not being trapped in a certain genre or seriousness; these guys can have fun together and aren’t above sharing it with their audience.

Don’t Fall in Love is a simple but emotion-filled track that hits home. It is such an effective song, that I actually tried to determine who did the original track; the song was so polished and heartfelt, that it’s recognisable. It feels like I’ve heard it before like I already know the song, but in fact, it is a Modern Māori Quartet original.

The whole album is simply done, musically. While the songs have much depth and layers added thanks to some accompanying notable musicians (Dixon Nacey on Guitar, Chris O'Connor on Drums, Thabani Gapara on Saxophone, and Andy Cochrane on Keyboard), the songs could easily be performed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and some capable and willing singers. A recipe for a successful singalong at any garage party. It has that kiwi charm to it, a Pacific flair, and an instant appeal, that reminds you of other feel-good kiwi artists like Dave Dobbyn, Tiki Taane, and The Herbs.

With beautifully structured harmonies, the Modern Māori Quartet prove that there is still an appeal and demand for peaceful songs, with positive (and humorous) messages. The perfect soundtrack for those summer BBQs and road trips.


Review written by Alex Moulton

About Modern Maori Quartet

The award-winning Modern Māori Quartet are a good looking, suave contemporary Māori showband in the vein of forebears such as the Hi-Marks, Māori Volcanics Showband, Dalvanius and the Fascinations, Māori Troubadours, Māori Hi Five, Quin Tikis and The Howard Morrison Quartet.

Their debut album That's Us! is set for release 15th September 2017. The album highlights their voices in epic harmony as they share Māori traditions and tell New Zealand stories through original waiata with humour, charm and class. Growing up performing in garage parties, this is a story of rags to flash rags.

That's Us! features all original waiata, as showband member Matariki Whatarau explains, "We've been singing covers for years and you know, we thought... why not?! The spirit of this album comes from the Māori garage party, reminiscent of the parties of years gone by when someone would pick up a guitar and the music would flow. We strongly believe that real stories told with truth and conviction should be at the forefront of who we are - and that's exactly what we set out to do with the creation of our first album".

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Modern Maori Quartet

Releases

That's Us!
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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