a creative high
Brownskin: By Brownskin (Hobo House On The Hill)
BROWNSKIN transcends the creative limits of local pop with its debut album. Elton John's "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" is nicely reworked urban pop style, but the originals from the Hobo House ohana best show Brownskin's potential.
Most are tranquil love songs. "Until You Come Home" is already a hit on Hawaii's mainstream pop radio stations. It could become a national hit as well, but others are also promising. "Whatever It Takes" is a dreamy love theme, "Only Be Friends" recounts the cost of illicit love, and the dance club vibe in "Wherever You Go" adds variety.
Brownskin leader/producer Roni and studio tunesmith Ronnie Esteban layer contemporary synthetic music tracks with a skill rarely found in Hawaii-based artists. This is one of the best pop albums out of Hawaii in recent years.
Every Facet of My Heart: By Matt Yee (Pake)
MATT Yee's 1990 debut album was imaginative but commercially unsuccessful. His second was a piece of assembly line Jawaiian lite pumped out by John Kahale Chang in 1993. Yee's third album is his best by far and displays his versatility.
Yee opens with some of his favorite songs and best originals recorded with Pierre Grill as his synthetic orchestra. He adds a bright sample of his popular one-man cabaret show and closes with an instrumental that lets him shine as a pianist. The studio tracks would have more chance of radio play if Yee's budget had allowed for more studio musicians, but this is a memorable musical portrait of a unique island recording artist.
Mysteries: By Daniel Ho (Aire Music)
DANIEL Ho and Wyland continue their alliance with another instrumental album. Acoustic piano is Ho's instrument of choice as he presents interpretations of "Hawaii Aloha" and "Aloha Oe" and eight originals. The ambience is tranquil and relaxing throughout.
(Part of the proceeds fund Wyland programs inspiring preservation of ocean life).
See Record Reviews for some of John Berger's past reviews.
See Aloha Worldwide for locals living away.
John Berger, who has covered the local
entertainment scene since 1972, writes reviews of recordings
produced by Hawaii artists. See the Star-Bulletin's Home Zone
section on Fridays for the latest reviews.