Island Mele
Friday, July 5, 2002

By John Berger





Jennifer Perri is aiming for the national pop charts with this six-song, Hawaii-only preview of her upcoming Victor Entertainment album. The songs are pure teen-diva material but all are age-appropriate for a 15-year-old vocalist. Perri isn't posing as a Britney Spears-style teen sexpot; the theme here is wanting that special someone, not teasing or, oops, playing with others' hearts.

Perri debuts as a songwriter with "Fall In LOVE ... With Me," which she co-wrote with her manager. This hit-to-be combines an irresistible up-tempo arrangement with an appealing vocal performance. Every woman can relate to the sentiment; every guy can wish she was singing to him!

"My Secret" isn't by Perri, but is similar in tone and tempo, and equally commercial. "If You Believe" shows she's just as appealing in sweet-and-slow mode.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Fall In Love...With Me
Bullet It's My Secret
Bullet If You Believe
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



"Back to Hawai'i"

Randy Parker
Mauka Productions

Singer/musician/ songwriter Randy Parker should already be getting play on Hawaiian radio. His 10 originals offer vivid images of island life. The title song speaks for those currently living elsewhere and longing to return.

Two songs are about times past, but Parker is clearly a modern guy who enjoys traditionalist Hawaiian music. Gilman Kahai joins him in playing guitar and ukulele; Mike Enocencio (electric bass) completes the studio band. Almost every song has a soothing slack-key sound.

Two romantic numbers -- "Honey Pie" and "The Gingers Are Blooming" -- reflect his love for his wife, Zita. A third, "Iliahi," is beautiful but enigmatic. "Chamorita Tita" adds katchi-katchi rhythms and the tale of a female flirt who causes problems at parties. Parker's poetry is sometimes ragged but his songs are worth hearing.

Mauka Productions
HCl 556
Kea'au HI 96749

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Back To Hawaii
Bullet Chamorita Tita
Bullet Iliahi
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



"Boat Days Tropic Nights"

Leon & Malia
Haku Mele

Leon Siu and Malia Elliott reintroduce themselves with this musical celebration of the days when Hawaii was a territory and people came and went by boat. About half of the songs are hapa haole classics that date from that era. "Boat Days," one of several originals by Siu, is arranged to suggest that it is of similar vintage.

Although not identified as such, this is basically a re-release of the duo's 1991 "Tropic Nights" album with one song deleted and four others added. "Boat Days" is one of the new ones. "Ho'ala Hou Hawai'i," which Siu and Elliott wrote as the theme song for the 1995 Aloha Festival, is another one. There's nothing here from their early triumphs -- "The Voyage of the Hokule'a" and "Boy With Goldfish" -- but tourists and malihini (newcomers) will find this album an enjoyable introduction to one of Hawaii's unique musical duos.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Boat Day
Bullet Island
Bullet Ho'ala Hou Hawai'i
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

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.

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