Yet another installment in the acclaimed Stereo Action series by RCA Victor, this 1961 album by Leo Addeo is also yet another adventure into Polynesian territory, building upon the themes of Hawaii and the South Pacific that were so popular during the time period. And Hawaiian it indeed is--this album contains more than enough ukulele, lap steel, and exotic "imagery" to be classified alongside Les Baxter and Martin Denny.
When I sat down and listened to this, my expectations were moderately high, being pretty familiar with RCA Victor, Stereo Action and mid-century Exotica. Really though, after the album's run time was over, I realized that none of the songs on it were distinctive enough to tell apart. The music that makes up Paradise Regained is, in short, kind of bland--it's not exciting enough melodically and it's a bit too mellow and lackadaisical for its own good. It ends up coming across much like many of the generic faux-Polynesian LP's on the catalogs of '60s budget labels, except with a noticeably higher standard of production. Also, having payed close attention to the stereo mix on this record, it's not up to par with many of the other entries in the Stereo Action series. Technically, even by today's mixing standards, the channel separation would be fairly modest. Addin to that the outrageousness of mixing that Stereo Action is generally known for and it becomes a little disappointing.
That aside, this music is pleasing to the ears and, at least superficially, capable in its exoticism. It's definitely in line with the values of the music industry during its epoch. It's also, without a doubt, in line with the values of the listeners of the time. However, when I compare this album to others like it, I can't help but point out its relative mediocrity. Anyway, see what you think by hearing it for yourself below.
Ka-Lu-A | Lovely Hula Hands | A Song Of Old Hawaii | Keep Your Eyes On The Hands | Now Is The Hour | Adventures In Paradise | Every Little Moment | Trade Winds | Hello, Aloha! How Are You | Beyond The Reef | No Other Love | I'll See You In Hawaii