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Island Mele
Friday, September 29, 2000

By John Berger



Youth carries on
falsetto traditions

Bullet Anelaikalani:
By Anelaikalani (Paradise Records PCD 3010)

THE tradition of classic Hawaiian female falsetto is brought forward another generation with this beautiful debut by Brittney Anelaikalani Jennings. She sings with a presence that belies her youth and proves with songs like "Ho'oheno Ku'u Sweetie" and "Pohai Ke Aloha" that the genre will be in good hands for years to come.

Multi-Hoku Awards winner Kenneth Makuakane does some of his best work ever as her producer. Makuakane wisely shunned synthesized tracks and achieves an appropriate acoustic ambience throughout.

Jennings is such an appealing new artist it's a shame the record label included no background information on the songs (particularly those Makuakane wrote). But for that this is an excellent debut by a charming young singer.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Na Pualei O Kanahelehele
Bullet Pohai Ke Aloha
Bullet Ho'oheno Ku'u Sweetie
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Mission 251 Hip-Hop:
By DELaRAY (CMN Records CMD5406)

TOO many local Christian albums combine earnest testament with insipid music but there's nothing insipid here as Christian rapper DELaRAY and multi-faceted studio guy Chazz Lyons deliver the Word with an assortment of powerful beats and rhythms.

The title song speaks of smuggling the Bible into China. "The Quizz" is DELaRAY's in-your-face challenge to members of other religions. Some may be offended by his proselytizing but the impact of his message is enhanced by the high quality of the music behind it.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Mission 251
Bullet Test The Spirits
Bullet The Quizz
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



Bullet I Couldn't Say Goodbye:
By The Sultans (Jordantown Records JTR-2001)

THE impact of karaoke as a musical genre is seen in this album by vocalists J Michaels and Franko. They credit Tom Jones as their inspiration and favor big karaoke bar ballads sung to synthesizer arrangements (Franko has six showcase numbers; J Michaels gets four). A live instrument or two adds texture.

The one original, "Hawaii (I'm Coming Home)" by studio engineer Michael J. Doran, would have been a find for John Rowles 30 years ago. "You Can Leave Your Hat On," a risque blues rocker, is the biggest stretch beyond the format. Credit these guys with taking their dreams to the next level as recording artists and watch other karaoke bar stars follow their example.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Hawaii (I'm coming Home)
Lead vocal: Franko
Bullet Wildflower
Lead vocal: J. Michaels
Bullet My Hawaii
Lead vocal: Franko
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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