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Island Mele
Friday, August 4, 2000

By John Berger



‘Kanalo’ shows
group’s range, talent

Bullet Kanalo: By Kanalo (Four Strings Productions FSCD-7490)

KAnalo, then Ka Nalo, surfaced as surprise winners in FM100's Pride of the Islands contest in 1998 and made a problematic debut as recording artists on the "Pride Of The Islands II" anthology last summer. There were good ideas among the recycled riffs and pseudo-Jamaican affectations in their winning original song but when Pacific Blu joined them for their other number on the album, a generic Jawaiian rehash of "What's Up," it was impossible to tell how much Na Kalo could do. This album, under the new name, shows the group can do it all.

The quartet still uses almost every Jawaiian cliche possible but all the songs are original and all four members show growth and promise as writers. The lyrics are sometimes basic expository stuff but the perspectives are generally insightful and almost every song could be a local hit. The fact that they all sing gives Kanalo male and female lead voices and adds further commercial appeal.

This will be one of the major Jawaiian albums of the year.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet I Go Crazy
Bullet No Matter
Bullet On & On
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Summer Of Love: By Sly Dog (Chucky Machado Productions SLY-103)

SLY Dog shares two views of the season with this CD-single. The Maui-based quintet blends Jamaican rhythms with the sound of Hawaiian instruments in two essentially identical versions of the pop-oriented title track and then goes straight reggae when it gets political and speaks for the poor with "Homeless." Both songs obviously merit attention but "Homeless" should be the hit.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Summer of Love
Bullet Summer of Love (ragga max)
Bullet Homeless
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



Bullet The New Voyage: By Island Riddim Band (South Bay IRB001)

THE opening song is a smooth Jawaiian lite original but the "riddims" that percolate through "Island Woman" give way to a more cosmopolitan pop-folk sound. The core quartet -- a singer, bassist and two guitarists who live on the "island" of North America -- debuts here with heavy reinforcement from producer Bryan Kessler and some of Hawaii's top studio musicians.

Kessler was half of the duo that created Hawaiian Style Band in 1990 and his work here has the same feel. "Island Woman" is most likely to please those looking for "island riddims" but the noteworthy Hawaiian and light rock numbers elsewhere give this album broader appeal.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Island Woman
Bullet Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Bullet Laupahoehoe Hula
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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