He Aloha…, Cody Pueo Pata, (Ululoa Productions)
In “Laga-Haga,” one of the lighter cuts on the album, Pata sings in a nonsense version of Hawaiian to describe the steps involved when two people get together. It’s an enjoyable novelty, although the spoken-word skit at the beginning of the song may wear thin on repeated listenings.
For the most part, however, He Aloha… is rock-solid Hawaiian music. Pata bolsters his seven original compositions with six well-chosen standards, including a lively take on Charles E. King’s “Momi o ka Pakipika.”
The instrumentation is rich and varied, incorporating steel guitar, piano and ‘ukulele. Throughout, the Maui kumu hula displays the beautiful voice that won him the Frank B. Shaner falsetto contest in ’99—it’s a joy to listen to.
He Aloha… has the makings of a modern classic; the strong theme really ties this thing together. Aloha makou i keia mau mele.