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Album Review

This is the third album by New Zealand's Te Vaka. It starts out differently than previous albums in that a greater use of electronic programming is utilized, but that isn't reflective of the album in general. Te Vaka still relies on its strongest selling points: delightful melodies, angelic vocal harmonies, and palpitating rhythms springing from the log drums. Nukukehe is comprised of all original material composed either by lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Opetaia Foa'i or in partnership with keyboarist Malcolm Smith. In his music, Foa'i pays tribute to Greenpeace, musicologist Ad Linkets, and the spirit of the Polynesian island group and its people, along with a simple appreciation and passionate celebration of life. While sung in the native tongue, the inspiration behind this music is certainly felt by listeners who may not understand the language. There is also a certain bittersweet element to Te Vaka's music as Foa'i laments the infusion of outside forces (namely climactic) into his island home. That, no doubt, explains the connection this group has felt with Greenpeace. But in the tradition of great art, Te Vaka's music emanates from the joy, heartache, and trials that comprise life. Foa'i's creativity has certainly benefited from all he's experienced.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Te Vaka is a New Zealand based group that performs predominantly original music rooted in the Polynesian musical traditions. Te Vaka's music is exemplified by their captivating vocal harmonies and the pulsating rhythms created by the pate (log drums) merged with the contemporary influences adsorbed...
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Nukukehe, Te Vaka
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