Na Palapalai

Ka Pua Hae Hawaii

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    7
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This album of Hawaiian falsetto singing is done in a trio format rather than the somewhat more common form: a solo falsetto singer with a backing band. Na Palapalai produce some very nice harmonies among themselves, hitting the high notes with seeming ease. This is hula music proper, with a few haku mele up front and a backing band keeping the sound highly danceable. There's a rumble and a groove, but more of a simple shimmy and bounce built into this, with guitars strumming incessantly and a steel guitar accentuating each turn of a musical phrase that doesn't already feature the vocalists. The music is busy, exciting, and generally very well executed. Even though the group is current, and puts a bit of a contemporary spin on its stylings, the original compositions have an old-time Hawaiian country feeling. Falsetto is relatively rare now, but the quality of this album makes one wonder why.

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