Sean Na'auao - Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha, Poi Pounder Records
Nobody doesn't like Sean Na'auao. Over the past decade, he's proven himself equally adept at cranking out radio-friendly jams and tutu-pleasing Hawaiian-language compositions.
With Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha, Na'auao proves himself in top form once again, this time on the traditional side. The album's warm, natural instrumentation and perfect harmonies bring to mind the best work of The Makaha Sons. "Ni'ihau O Kahelelani," cowritten by Na'auao and his wife, Kau'i, is a highlight.
Na'auao's irresistible sense of melody is fully intact here, and he's obviously having fun on tracks such as the playful medley "Holo Holo Ka'a/Mokokaikala." Just try not smiling when Na'auao imitates a motorcycle: "Brum brum brum!"
He also sneaks in two English-language tracks at the end, including a patented Na'auao sing-along entitled "No Hawaiians, No Aloha," which features a guest rap by Sudden Rush's Don Keala Kawa'auhau, who provides the cut with a bit of fire.
Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha is one of Na'auao's best albums to date, with lush production values, beautiful vocals and no shortage of the pop sensibilities that made him a star in the first place.