Island Mele: ‘Looking In’ a fine showcase
REVIEW BY JOHN BERGER / email@example.com
Rebecca Beralas uses Afro-Caribbean rhythms, urban-style harmonizing, mainstream pop electronic instrumentation and touches of faux-Jamaican patios as the building blocks for this collection of 11 new recordings. Beralas wrote nine of them and co-wrote another. The results overall make this a fine showcase for her talents as both writer and vocalist.
Rebecca Beralas (Leap of Faith)
Three songs represent the diversity of her writing. “Show You Love” is a straight-forward Jawaiian fantasy with a woman asking the man she’s in lust if she can “come over and treat you right.” It’s a fantasy many men will certainly relate to!
Jamaican rhythms are also the foundation of “Take It Slow,” a cautionary message she directs at younger women who are “up in the parties, up in the clubs,” spending their nights “smoking it up and drinking it down.”
“Side By Side” stands out as one of the two songs that don’t use Jamaican rhythms. It also stands out for its message of self-confidence. Here Beralas speaks for women who aren’t “damsels in distress” and who are ready and willing to fight their own battles — maybe side by side with a man capable of respecting their need for independence.
Beralas’ production team — multi-instrumentalist Matthew Honda and guitarist Imua Garza — lay down solid instrumental arrangements for her throughout. The primary audience for most of these songs is here in Hawaii but Beralas is also worthy of national radio play.