Nã Leo Pilimehana

Local Boys

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In 1984, Nã Leo Pilimehana hit it big in Hawaii with a win in a local talent competition and an original song: "Local Boys." Stemming from the popularity of "Local Boys," they continued on to record their first album fresh from high school, with similar songs. This is contemporary Hawaiian music (or contemporary in 1984, at the very least), with very little of the traditional slack key or hula chanting approaches. What it does incorporate is a vocal harmony style common to much on the islands, but into newly styled songs. The vocals are very much locked into the time, but constantly done in a rather relaxing way, with the instruments generally minimal and serving only as accompaniment. The album, in short, is relatively dated, but worth a listen as a basic adult contemporary piece. Long out of print, the 2004 reissue adds two more pieces of nostalgia: an early recording of a Stray Cats cover (taken in a stunning jazzy manor that's both different from and perhaps even better than their usual vocal style) by the trio prior to Local Boys, and a then-recent cover of Stevie Wonder from the same year as their breakout. [A Japanese version adds a bonus track.]

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