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Island Mele
Friday, March 17, 2000

By John Berger



Personal touch
adds to Bond debut

Bullet Na Hoku O Ka Lani:
Leilani Rivera Bond (Leilani Records LRCD 2001)

LEILANI Rivera Bond's beautiful debut album shows the range of her repertoire as an entertainer on her native Kauai. The title song is a deeply personal original. Among the others are Hawaiian and hapa-haole standards and several from other Polynesian nations.

Bond has a warm and appealing voice. She and producer Kata Maduli share credit for the effective contemporary arrangements. Maduli's all-star band does great work in support.

Song lyrics and background information add details such as that Bond did "My Heart Will Go On" because one of her daughters loves the song. That fact makes an otherwise problematic selection a meaningful facet in a fine musical portrait.

c/o: D. Stewart, 324 Aina Manu Place, Kapaa, HI 96746 - 808-822-1152

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Na Hoku O Ka Lani
Bullet Wai'ale'ale
Bullet Aloha 'Oe
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Haleakala:
Haleakala (Rainbow/ Pa'ani PR2001)

THE liner notes say Haleakala released a self-titled debut album in 1972. This evidently isn't it since the songs here include "Honolulu City Lights" which Keola Beamer wrote in 1978. Whenever these tracks were done this album is almost worthless as a retrospective since no further information is provided on the group's history.

On the other hand, the lead singers are soulful, the harmonies smooth, and the arrangements an interesting mix of traditional hapa-haole, mainstream pop, and '70s vintage soul/disco dance music. Hearing hapa-haole standards reworked with ideas borrowed from Otis Redding, the Friends Of Distinction and Isaac Hayes at least makes this disc of interest to curiosity seekers.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Honolulu City Lights
Bullet Little Grass Shack
Bullet Mauna Loa
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Music From The Kingdom Of Tonga Vol. 1:
Kuila (FobStyle Productions FPCD001)

TONGANS and those familiar with Tongan language and culture will surely appreciate this album. The blending of smooth harmonizing and acoustic string instruments is similar to the nahenahe music of Hawaii and makes Kuila a relaxing experience.

If producer Fehi Niutupuivaha had only included information on the significance and meaning of the songs and how Tongans have incorporated non-Tongan instruments since 1773 this would be a fine introduction to traditional Tongan music. -

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Tokelau T 'l Muifonua
Bullet Nofo Hifo 'O Filifili
Bullet Seife'oa'aki
Quicktime | 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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