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  • John Berger - Star Advertiser

Pe’a’s second CD ‘award worthy’

“NO ‘ANE‘I.”

Kalani Pe‘a (Kalani Pe‘a Music)

Kalani Pe‘a made history early in 2017 when he became the first Hawaii-resident recording artist to win a Grammy Award since Hawaiian music was absorbed by the catch-all Regional Roots Music category. Several months later he became the first Hawaii-resident recording artist ever to win a Grammy and a Hoku Award for the same project. Two year later Pe‘a is back with an award-worthy second album that is every bit as good as the first.

The most innovative song is a mele ku‘e (song of resistance) titled “Pa‘a Mau” that combines part of Pe‘a’s comments at the 2017 Grammy Awards, additional Hawaiian lyrics and the melody of Sam Cooke’s politically charged 1960 hit “Chain Gang.” Pe‘a and his co-producer Allan B. Cool provide the English translation so that the majority audience not fluent in Hawaiian will also get the message to strive with persistence, encourage others and most of all “pa‘a mau” (stand firm).

Pe‘a shares his love of pop chart oldies with a bilingual remake of the Carpenters’ 1971 hit, “Superstar.” Original songs celebrate family members, favorite places, a cherished alii and challenging encounters with “repugnant” cockroaches and a centipede. A beautiful arrangement of “‘Akaka Falls” shows Pe‘a’s skill at personalizing a classic.

Pe‘a’s liner notes explain the lessons he learned in dealing with “repugnant creatures.” The kaona (hidden meanings) in another song is suggested by the artwork.


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