"Jesus Said ..."
Moon Surfer Productions
This ambitious Christian album comes in a DVD-style package but is, in fact, a regular CD with "CD + Graphics" tracks that display the lyrics when the disc is played on CDG hardware. The lyrics are also available in the accompanying booklet, so there's no need for a CDG player to appreciate what producer Gordon Broad has created.
The text is the King James version of Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount, set to music by Broad and David "Kawika" Crowley. Al Erub and David Kauahikaua share credit with Crowley for the vocal and instrumental arrangements. The over-reliance of synthetized instrumentation is problematic at first, but the diversity of the arrangements overcomes that inherent handicap.
Roslyn Catracchia, Rachel Gonzales, Angelo Jensen and Rod Young join the production team in vocalizing the Lord's message to mankind.
This is scripture set to music rather than your typical inspirational music, but "Jesus Said ..." still makes for one of the more impressive local Christian albums ever released.
Producer "Radical Rob" Onekea features innovators and Jamaican impersonators alike on this high-quality compilation sponsored by Pure Aloha Hawaiian Streetwear. Onekea is also a member of Sudden Rush, and in keeping with the group's slashing attack on the local music business ("If you only do remakes, you just a karaoke singer"), all the songs are originals. One of them, "What You Got On," is a catchy commercial for the corporate sponsor.
Sudden Rush and B.E.T., the biggest acts here, represent the ideal of an original synthesis of rap, reggae, and contemporary Hawaiian music. Bu La'ia distinguishes himself with a comic cameo, and Maui's own Marty Dread represents traditionalist reggae.
Most of the other artists are either former members of other Jawaiian acts or part of Sudden Rush's ohana, but there are a few ringers from other parts of the world who don't even record here and, subsequently, don't belong on this album.
Onekea's work as the album's compiler is up to his usual standards, offering first-rate local product throughout. While producers of most local compilations fail to provide information on the artists, Onekea deserves kudos for including the artists' bios (even though it takes a magnifying glass to read them).
Although "Pure Aloha" is clearly aimed at fans of island music, several songs don't fit the format. For example, Onekea includes on the compilation "Where Do I Go From Here," a requiem for his mother-in-law. As such, he's entitled to include it, and it is a beautiful song as well. On the other hand, the local pop songs featuring singers Kris D'Autremont, Cammy Saba and Sharon Sanchez don't have that connection and belong on a different compilation.
See Record Reviews for some past reviews.
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. Contact John Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.