Call them reggae-pop, Margaritaville punk, or just simply Jawaiian, the Green's mix of reggae, rock, soul, and Hawaiian vibes has reached full maturity on the great Hawai'i '13, but mature doesn't imply clamping down as this Oahu group is still on permanent vacation. After the traditional "He Mele No Ku'u Hawai'i" notifies listeners that this one comes from the 50th state, the funky '70s rhythms and jam band solos of "Even Before" set sail for an imaginary land where Jimmy Buffett, Gwen Stefani, Jerry Garcia, Cheech & Chong, and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole all gather round the evening's campfire. The aptly titled "Good One" ups the ante with more sunshine and an incredibly infectious chorus, while lead single "Take Me On" is everything above on a slow romantic boat ride down a stream. John Mayer fans should head right for the sultry "Chocolate & Roses" and Jack Johnson heads should go right to the empowering rocker "Power in the Words," while those who dig 311 might very well jump camps after hearing the modern synths, swaggering stance, and supreme coolness of "Good Vibe Killah." The four-part harmony throughout the album is sourced right from traditional reggae, as it's something rarely experienced on the jam band festival circuit, but it's lead singer Caleb Keolanui who really shines, able to kick it like a dancehall singjay if required or up to the soaring, full-bodied style of Bob Marley if the track calls for something mighty or majestic. Sour folks, snide hipsters, and those who are only happy when it rains might find Hawai'i '13 too fluffy to consider, but there's an endless supply of sincere and positive vibrations to receive here, so those who'd prefer to live their lives in flip-flops should open their arms wide.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries