Amy Hānaiali'i

Generation Hawai'i

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In something of a return to more traditional pieces, Amy Hänaiali'i here presents a set primarily in Hawaiian, and in song forms often in an older form. While she's known more for being at the top of the contemporary Hawaiian scene, she has training that suits her well enough in the older forms as well. The works are largely old standards and traditional works, but they often have some updating involved by way of the backing band, the arrangement itself, or her particular take on a piece, particularly on a handful of pieces dedicated to her recently deceased grandmother (which tend to take on a bit more of the traditional ambience, complete with some Hula chanting and the occasional pahu drum). Hänaiali'i has a gorgeous voice, and the treat here is hearing it in a slightly unusual setting. The band works well through lilting, bouncing little numbers that complement her wonderfully, though the occasional hint of contemporary Hawaiian can throw the listener for a moment. Fans of Hänaiali'i should enjoy the album as a nice addition to her vast repertoire, and fans of traditional and semi-traditional Hawaiian should enjoy the album purely for her vocals.

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