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S & R (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Both Sean Na'auao and Robi Kahakalau have won accolades for their respective solo albums over the last few years, and picked up a handful of Na Hoku Hanohano awards each (mostly for contemporary Hawaiian). This album combines their respective powers on guitar and vocals, but does so in a primarily traditional format. Each song is a duet, brimming with emotion and musicality. At the same time, the songs can get a little monotonous, depending on the tone taken and the length of the songs — simple guitar riffs and repeating choruses can lead to this effect in any music. When the duo breaks out of the traditional mold (to their real specialties), we get some more surprising and exciting music. Even if the song is laid-back to an extreme, the sound is new and fresh still, bristling with a sense of melody. Possibly the most dichotomous piece here is the (almost) album-ending cover of Roberta Flack's "Where Is the Love" — with this single song, the duo improves greatly on a relatively sappy piece while simultaneously adding this bit of (admittedly better) sappiness to an otherwise fresh album. As an added little bonus, the album has an unlisted bit of excellent and non-standard Hawaiian reggae thrown in at the end.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Hawaiian singer/guitarist Robi Kahakalau mixes the sounds of her native islands with elements of reggae, pop, singer/songwriter, folk, and rock balladry, plus the occasional touch of jazz and R&B. Not only that, but her linguistic skills are as eclectic as her musical tastes -- she's fluent in English, French, Hawaiian, and Tahitian, and all four tongues show up on her recordings. Kahakalau was born into a musical family -- her grandfather Tutu played ukulele and steel guitar, and taught traditional...
Full bio
S & R (Bonus Track Version), Robi Kahakalau
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music, Vocal
  • Released: 17 July 2007

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