Luckily for me, my brand spanking new copy of The Tikiyaki Orchestra's CD Stereoexotique came in the mail this afternoon. I also hadn't had a chance to peruse the latest Tiki Magazine that came last week. This must be a sign. I should relax, listen to my new tunes and enjoy a frosty beverage. I didn't really feel like mixing anything fruity so I decided to try a Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry beer. That's fuity. Sorta... Maybe.
Yeah... what am I thinking? Pomegranate raspberry beer? I guess I've been giving AB a few shots lately just to see what they're up to. At least they're trying different things: craft beers, varietals, and now... fruity beer. The Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry is nothing spectacular. It's not particularly good but it's not bad. It first hits your nose with a mild cherry LifeSaver. It then greets your palate with a bit of tangy fruitiness from the pomegranate and then just sort of disappears into blah. It's not sweet. It's not particularly hopped. It's tasteless light beer with some fruity flavoring added. I was sort of expecting something more like the Jolly Rancher kick of a Smirnoff Ice but this doesn't do that at all. It's nice that there are alternatives. Overall I give it a 2.5 out of 10 (whatever that might mean.)
The Tikiyaki Orchestra however is a great and welcome find. I can only hope that Stereoexotique will not be the one and only release from Jim. The album takes the vintage exotica sounds of Martin Denny then blends them with a bit of lounge organ and beautiful, exotic (sometime eerie) steel guitar. The more I listened to the steel guitar, the more I was reminded of another album I have by The Vanduras. Sure enough with I looked at the liner notes, Gary Brandin of The Vanduras and The Blue Hawaiians was credited for the steel guitar work. It all makes sense now. This is beautiful soundtrack-worthy stuff. Go give it a listen if you want. It's also packaged with a nifty coaster and a drink-umbrella in the spine of the CD case. Pretty nice huh?