Joshua Alo – Answer Your Calling
[CD] This album is my new “bring on summertime” favorite. Alo, a local boy, has a smooth voice and his jams are extremely skankable. The first track “Irie” is a deceivingly mellow sounding tune that gets all intense with crazy ukulele riffs. The message is positive and one that locals will relate to. “Angel” starts off with this cool guitar picking sound and then goes seamlessly into a catchy reggae beat. The title track, “Answer Your Calling,” is probably my favorite, with a strong message about inner turmoil and resolution. Over all, the album is chill and a perfect addition to a night barbequing on the lanai after a long day in the sun.
Damien Knapp – Will You Cry When I Die?
[CD] It’s kind of hard to explain the sound of Damien Knapp’s Will You Cry When I Die? in comparison to modern-day rock and blues, because it’s not anything like the stuff pumping out of record labels today. Knapp’s got a funky, kind of trippy, easy going sound and voice that sticks with you. My favorite song, “Maui in the Sun,” makes me want to set my boobs free and wear a sundress. The title is deceptive. There is no slack key and it’s very Beatles. Knapp and his late father wrote the songs on the album and planned to perform them together before his untimely death. The sentiment is subtle, but it’s infused into the album. To get a handle on it, you need to listen to the eclectic blend yourself. www.myspace.com/damianknapp
Dani Girl – It’s About Time
Dani Girl’s got it going on. She’s been performing in Hawai‘i for a long time and has participated in a ton of compilations, but this is her first solo CD. Get it? About Time. True dat. The CD’s got a good blend of R&B, gospel and naturally reggae sound. The messages behind the tracks are also diverse. In fact, About Time is kind of like a sneek peak into this strong local woman’s heart and her musical journey. Track five, “Meeting in the Ladies Room,” is a surpsingly pop addition to the album, but I dig it. In fact, while I listen to it, I have flashbacks from club experiences of my younger years. Blurry and faded, but good times. MTW