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Posted October 1, 2010
Exceeding Previous Promise!
Courtesy Star Bulletin John Berger 10/30/2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Na Palapalai (Hulu Kupuna Productions)
The long-awaited fourth album by Na Palapalai is a milestone twice over. It is the first by Kuana Torres Kahele and Kehau Tamure as a duo. It is also the first Na Palapalai project where the group had complete creative control.
It takes nothing away from the two multi-Hoku Award-winning Na Palapalai albums with Ke'ao Costa, or an earlier album Kahele and Tamure made as members of another group, to say that "Nanea" is everything a modern Hawaiian album should be. Kahele and Tamure make beautiful music together!
They open with a classic, "Ho'oipo Hula," and follow it with "Aloha No Ka'u," the first of several originals. It doesn't take long to be captivated by their new sound. They epitomize the tradition of Hawaiian falsetto singing throughout this impressive collection of 16 songs, and Kahele's lower-register voice is featured as well.
Aaron Sala (piano) and Paul Kim (steel guitar) provide solid support as the duo's primary guest musicians in giving them the musical depth of a quartet. They close on a spiritual note with a contemporary Christian hymn, "Precious Moments," that captures the beauty of their voices perfectly.
Thorough documentation is essential for all Hawaiian albums, and Kahele and Tamure provide both Hawaiian lyrics and English translations. While "Nanea" missed the cutoff date for the 2010 Grammy Awards, it would represent Hawaiian music quite well on the final ballot in 2011!