Please support our very first advertiser!

Island Mele
Friday, December 8, 2000

By John Berger




Bullet Let's Stay Together: By Paka Smith (MGC MGC-1031)

Paka Smith evokes thoughts of Willie K on some tracks and Norm "Just the Norm" Thompson on others but ultimately emerges as a distinct personality. He gets a key assist from local rap master SKI in constructing a serviceable remake of Al Green's 1971 hit, "Let's Stay Together," and offers a fresh perspective on Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain."

Most of the other selections are originals that speak either of Smith's love of his family or his deep Christian faith. He personalizes "Have I Told You Lately" as a song for his wife and features his son on "Kealoha, My Baby Boy." Including an artist's kid on a track isn't always a good idea but the father-and-son interplay works well here.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Let's Stay Together
Bullet Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Bullet Kealoha, My Baby Boy
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

(808) 671-1171

Bullet No Ka Kamali'i: By Mary Kawena Pukui (The Mountain Apple Co. MACD-2063)

This album is a collection of recordings that were made in 1969 as Pukui spoke of some of the children's poems and games she grew up with as a native Hawaiian speaker in Ka'u. "No Na Kamali'i" was released without promotional fanfare some time ago but will be treasured by anyone interested in Hawaiian language and culture. It provides not only the opportunity to hear Pukui speaking Hawaiian but to also get her account of the cultural significance of each selection.

A handy liner notes booklet provides historical information and the Hawaiian text.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Introduction
Bullet '...where the ali'i used to go to play...'
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

Bullet With Love And Aloha: By Alani (R&L Productions)

Lenda "Alani" Wong explains in her liner notes that she has always enjoyed singing and is following her dreams by recording. She debuts with seven original songs set to music by arranger Tim Strickland.

Wong writes in a stream-of-consciousness style in which rhyme and poetic meter are apparently coincidental. Most of her songs are cheerful. "So Lucky I Live Hawaii" describes a carefree day in Waikiki. Others reflect emotional traumas. "My Dear Dad" is presented in two versions. Both are grim.

This is not an album to a buy without listening to it first, but curiosity seekers may enjoy Wong's quirky vocal stylings. Others may be inspired to record their own.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet So Lucky I Live Hawaii
Bullet My Dear Dad
Bullet We Will Shine Like A Star
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

(808) 941-2112

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.

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin