Mai Tai

History......The Essential Collection

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Mai Tai's overall catalog is hardly distinguishable from that of many long-forgotten '80s conglomerates of a similar nature -- at least when it comes to the music and production of writer/producer/arrangers E. Van Tijn and J. Fluitsma. However, the Holland-based trio does possess a recognizable, impressive vocal chemistry that supplies a burst of needed energy to formulaic grooves like "Ashamed" and "1 Touch 2 Much." Of their hit songs (most of which are contained here), there are some moments that are memorable also for their catchy hooks and rhythm arrangements. "History," which gained the group recognition on the R&B and dance charts stateside; the jubilant "Body and Soul"; and "Turn Your Love Around," which in some ways seems like a "History, Part Two," all seep in the brain with ease. Otherwise, the material isn't of any remarkable quality; rather, it's pleasant and fun music that makes for a steady background. It seems odd that two relatively strong selections -- "Dance in the Light" and "What, Where, When, Who" -- were omitted from this package.

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