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Album Review

Keali'i Reichel's Ke'alaokamaile is a concept album about his immediate ancestors, specifically his grandmother. This allows him to choose songs touching on various aspects of Hawaiian culture and fill the sepia-toned CD booklet with photographs of his relatives and nostalgic reminiscences of his childhood. Despite the thematic frame, however, the album, as a collection of material, follows essentially the same formula as other Reichel albums, combining originals and songs by his musical associates with some older and traditional Hawaiian material and a few covers of songs in a soft rock/adult contemporary vein. In this case, those covers include Sting's "Fields of Gold," Babyface's "You Were There," and Karla Bonoff's "Goodbye My Friend." Typically, such Western pop fare is contrasted with native pieces, such as the traditional chant "Lei Hana I Ka Makani Ualau'awa" sung over only a drum accompaniment, which follows right after the Babyface song; "Na 'Ono O Ka 'Aina," a less ancient traditional song complete with ukulele, and "Pupu A'o 'Ewa," the first song Reichel remembers learning to sing as a child, follows "Fields of Gold." This sort of mixture of styles is typical of Reichel's albums as he tries to marry the different aspects of his musical influences into a multicultural whole. He wants to hold onto Hawaiian music in its long heritage and add to that repertoire, at the same time that a part of him seemingly would like to sing adult contemporary pop in English. On this album, he claims these different styles as his own by casting them as a part not only of his autobiography, but also of his genealogy.

Customer Reviews

nice hawaiian music

Keali'i Reichel is a really good hawaiian artist he sings n chants

Wryen Kiwaha

One of Hawaii's premier Kumu Hula, Musical Artists, Chanters and Composers - Keali'i Reichel - presents this authentic and moving tribute to honor his beloved grandmother. My favorite song, Ka Nohono Pili Kai, speaks of his grandmother's seaside home on the Island of Maui. This album is a must-have and I definitely give it two thumbs up.

No Disappointments!!! He

All of Keali'l Reichel music is very touching and for real. I enjoy all of his albums even the chants. Can't go wrong with his music. A real enjoyment and always make me think of being back home on Kihei, Maui.


Born: Hawaii

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The most popular Hawaiian artist of the 1990s, Keali'i Reichel has artfully balanced obligatory concessions to American pop music with the heartfelt qualities of traditional Hawaiian chanting, a style that places tremendous importance on conveying intense emotion with the intricacies of the human voice. The first-born son of a German father and native Hawaiian mother, Reichel spent the first five years of his life living with grandparents (as is normal in Hawaii), learning the traditional values...
Full Bio
Ke'alaokamaile, Keali'i Reichel
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Customer Ratings