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Music Review

Na Pali, Na Pali, Awapuhi Productions 2005


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Na Pali's music will put you right to sleep. That's a good thing; Carlos Andrade's voice is a relaxed, comforting sound, perfectly suited for coaxing children and even adults into dreamland. With lullabies such as "Kealia," "Kamali'i" and the "Navigator's Lullaby," Andrade and the other three members of Na Pali create soothing music that manages to be nahenahe (sweet, soft), without being cloying.

Some of the other original English-language cuts on their eponymous album, though, straddle the thin line between nahenahe and cheese. It's been 18 years since Na Pali's last album, Pacific Tunings, and you can still hear '80s touches in these new songs, most notably an emotive saxophone on "Waiting for the Rain" and "Blossom."

Picking up the pace doesn't do the band any favors, either. Renowned bluesman Taj Mahal sits in on "Tourin' with Taj," the most upbeat song on the album, but the track itself is a musically and lyrically bland catalog of the group's European tour dates. ("Wolfsburg, Oldenburg, Nuremburg and Hamburg, Dusseldorf and even Berlin," sings Andrade.) It's the aural equivalent of vacation photos.

Bottom line:
Na Pali's gentle mix of Hawaiian and English-language tracks recalls the folky local acts of the '70s and '80s, such as Country Comfort and Kalapana. Spin it on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or at bedtime.

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