7 Simple Pieces

Got Aloha?

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    6
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The sophomore release from 7 Simple Pieces continues their unique mix of Hawaiian aesthetics with gospel music. The sound is quite contemporary as Hawaiian music goes, with tinges of R&B throughout, as well as hip-hop, reggae, and other styles that have caught on in the Islands over the last decade or two. The instrumentation on the album is able, never venturing too far from a simple melody but still capable of switching styles up a bit when some reggae guitar is needed, or some hip-hop drumming. The star throughout the album, though, is vocalist Stacy Kepa. When the song calls for a stricter phrasing she can tighten up, but when there's a gospel or R&B aesthetic, she gets the chance to stretch out, using long but tender phrasing and an outstanding voice. As go Kepa's vocals, so goes the band, unfortunately. While the instruments can hold up well in other styles and tempos, the mix is a little stiffer and the sound not as catchy when the group is trying to do something more uptempo or modern. Kepa needs to croon and whisper and shout, and the band needs to follow her at her peak to really show off their ability to fill out a song.

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