Changes: Forté (Cinnamon Red)
FORTÉ'S 1997 debut album was a local pop hit but didn't show what the quartet was capable of. Their second album, "Changes," fulfills the promise heard in their recent CD-single.
The photos and liner art don't do them justice, but Forté has taken a significant step forward here. The harmonies are fuller. There are fewer pop chart remakes. Forté is heating up. Bravo, Forté!
"Somehow Someway" is a career best. "Have You Ever" and "The Pieces Of My Heart" also stand out in showing fresh presence and more mature sound. "What To Say," co-written with Dave Tucciarone, is notable as the group's first original. Debits are a local pop clunker or two, and "Two To Make It Right," which marks the third time Forté's producers have tried and failed to improve a song off Seduction's hot 1989 album, "Nothing Matters Without Love." The original arrangement sizzled. This one doesn't.
That Forté can handle hotter arrangements is made clear as the girls do nicely with some old dance tracks recorded by Seduction's co-producer, the late David Cole. This album will certainly be bigger than their last. The changes are in effect.
U Da Kine: Keni (Island Head) CD single
VETERAN record producer Gaylord Holomalia introduces Keni Yarbro with two original songs off Yarbro's debut album. Fiji adds his familiar magic to the high energy, local reggae title song. "U Da Kine" should be one of the big local hits of the new year.
Waikoloa Sands: Pomai & Loeka (The Morning Star) CD single
POMAI and Loeka Longakit have recorded previously together and solo. "Waikoloa Sands" introduces them as romantic balladeers on their family record label. Both sing with natural feeling and emotion.
Their producers/parents, Lloyd and Nalani, feature Loeka on the title track and his "Homegrown '97" signature, "The One They'd Call Hawaii" (Both were written by his father).
The third song features Pomai on a song from their new Christian album. Randy Sugata shares credit with Lloyd for the soft but deftly textured arrangements.
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.