Island Mele: ‘E Ku‘u Lei, My Love’

Jun. 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

REVIEW BY JOHN BERGER / jberger@staradvertiser.com

‘E Ku‘u Lei, My Love’

Kuana Torres Kahele feat. Maila Gibson (Kuana Torres Kahele)

Kuana Torres Kahele is following his Hoku Award-winning Christmas album, “Hilo For The Holidays,” with “Kahele,” a 14-song collection of original songs that will be released July 30. He’s started the countdown with the release of this song as a download-only single. It is beautiful work and displays his command of several genres.

The initial arrangement — a single acoustic guitar and Kahele’s voice caressing Hawaiian lyrics — would sell the song to his core fan base, but that’s only the beginning. A string section and piano expand the instrumentation, then the lyrics change from Hawaiian to English, and then Maila Gibson replaces Kahele as the solo vocalist. When Kahele and Gibson then perform as a duo there’s a sense of completion in both languages.

Kahele’s album is certain to be one of the year’s biggest in Hawaiian music. With “E Ku‘u Lei, My Love” getting local radio play this preview single could be a Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winner for him too.
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John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for more than 40 years. Contact him via email at jberger@staradvertiser.com.

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