Island Mele

By John Berger

Friday, August 6, 1999

Akana smoothly soulful



Bullet Hawaiian Soul, by Keola Akana (Native Mind Productions) NMPO11

THE title of this album describes the duality of singer/ songwriter Keola Akana's repertoire. He opens in a contemporary Hawaiian mode and moves into a smooth soul-lite style. His lightest R&B tunes still surpass local pop.

Akana's most impressive song, "Native Identity," calls on Hawaiians and others who support sovereignty to work together and stop bickering about who is the most authentic kanaka maoli. "Don't Let Go Of Tomorrow" is a political lecture set to music, while "Maiden Fair" is a hapa-haole love song. All three should be getting play on "Hawaiian radio."

Akana and co-producer Alwyn Erub smoothly combine sequencing and live musicians on the pop songs. "Anela Smile" is an attributed cloning of Hall & Oates' 1976 hit, but Akana's pop originals have comparable appeal.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Native Identity
Bullet Don't Let Go of Tomorrow
Bullet Maiden Fair
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Native Mind -



Bullet Reminiscence, by Cathy Waiamau (Al & Cat's Entertainment) ACE101D

WHEN Cathy and Al Waiamau share 10 of their favorite songs the program ranges from a beautiful rendition of "Pua Lilia" to "Waikiki" and "Theme From 'Ice Castles' (Through The Eyes Of Love)." This is officially Cathy's solo album but producer/husband Al joins in on smooth pop remakes of "Dream" and "Route 66."

Self-produced albums often suffer from insufficient funding and a resulting excess of low-budget synthesized music tracks. Al and musical advisor Robert Shinoda generally avoid that. This is an appealing calling card.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Pua Lilia
Bullet Waikiki
Bullet Route 66
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Al & Cat's Entertainment - Web:; E-mail



Bullet Kaleinani, by Stacie Taniguchi (Black Mountain) SSBML1

PRODUCER/songwriter Art Umezu helped launch BBC/TNG towards a national record deal 10 years ago. His latest discovery, Kauai singer Stacie Taniguchi, is already getting airplay on this CD single.

The title song presents her in a 1950s style hapa-haole mood. "A Thousand Miles Away" has a more contemporary sound, and she sings it light and sweet. Both songs show her potential, but the latter is most likely to be the demo that gets her attention elsewhere.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Kaleinani
Bullet A Thousand Miles Away
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Black Moutain Records, P.O. Box 3763, Lihue, HI 96766

See Record Reviews for some 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 Today
section on Fridays for the latest reviews.

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin