Mailani gives fresh voice to the ‘aina

I’m not a music reviewer, but I enjoy passing along new releases that resonate with me and Mailani fills the bill with her new album “‘Aina” (Mountain Apple, $15.98; iTunes, $9.99).

I seldom find an album on which I really like every single cut, but it happened with her debut solo CD “Mailani,” and “‘Aina” does it again as Mailani moves easily between the traditional and the modern.

Highlights include Jon Osorio and Randy Borden’s “Hawaiian Eyes,” a moving “Kaula ‘Ili” with her Papa talking story over the music, “Ka Nani o Kā‘ena,” an original she wrote with Keola Donaghy, a soaring “Tewe Tewe,” Robert Cazimero’s “Pane Mai” and U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

She doesn’t bring much new to “Yesterday” over the Paul McCartney version except a verse in Hawaiian, but it’s a beautiful song that fits her strong voice.

That voice is what makes Mailani’s recordings special, and it’s nicely highlighted with simple arrangements and backup — mostly herself on guitar, Trey on ukulele and guitar, Seann Carroll on percussion and Shawn Ishimoto on bass.

Mailani has been around since she formed the popular duo Keahiwai in high school, and with “‘Aina” she’s hit full stride. See for yourself with the video of “He‘eia,” one of the cuts from the CD.

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3 Comments on “Mailani gives fresh voice to the ‘aina”

  1. Cute Lunatic Says:

    Thank you, Dave. Very nice, Mailani!! I will go get me that cd. 🙂

  2. hugh clark Says:

    Dave is ether too coy or uderstated. He knows music, though he is not a recording artist. In our time,he created an opener for a key Big Island show and it was translated to a sheet of music by a noted music professor and performer (national Marine Corps band and after Honolulu Symphoney perrmer).

    Dave knows and feels a lot more music than he lets on here. I intend to hear Mailani at first opportunity.

  3. Michael Says:

    It is a change of topic and quite refreshing to celebrate Aloha Friday with Music.

    “It’s Aloha Friday, no work till Monday.”

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