CD Reviews: Raiatea Helm and The Green
Music reviews of Raiatea Helm and The Green.
Sea of Love
Helm takes it back to the 1960s with this tiki-tastic collection of songs. Who knew that traditional Hawaiian-language vocals backed with lounge-y, exotica-inspired instrumentation would work so well? Brushed cymbals, vibraphones, steel guitar—Martin Denny would be proud. Helm continues to mature as a vocalist, as well. It’s fun hearing her take on the ludicrously extended vocal sustains that Auntie Genoa used to use to such good effect.
Ways and Means
Sophomore albums are notoriously tricky, and The Green’s debut was one of our favorite local reggae releases in years, so Ways and Means is a relief. The band has only gotten tighter—switching up tempos on a dime, and handling harder-edged, Steel-Pulse-inspired skankers and lush ballads with equal aplomb. The original compositions are as inspired as ever, even if one certain theme dominates. (Song titles include “Got Me in Love,” “Love and Affection” and “Jah Love.”)