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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Various Artists - 2016 Aloha Got Soul - Soul, AOR And Disco In Hawaii 1979-1985
Various Artists - 2016 Aloha Got Soul - Soul, AOR And Disco In Hawaii 1979-1985

ARTIST: Various Artists
ALBUM: Aloha Got Soul - Soul, AOR And Disco In Hawaii 1979-1985
LABEL: Strut Records
SERIAL: Strut133CD
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Featuring: Tender Leaf, Aura, Aina, Lemuria, Roy & Roe, Hawaii, Hal Bradbury, Mike Lundy, Nova, Nohelani Cypriano, Brother Noland, Marvin Franklin With Kimo And The Guys, Greenwood, Chucky Boy Chock & Mike Kaawa With Brown Co., Steve & Teresa, Rockwell Fukino

TRACK LISTING: 01 Countryside Beauty * 02 Yesterday's Love * 03 Your Light * 04 Get That Happy Feeling * 05 Just Don't Come Back * 06 Lady Of My Heart * 07 Call Me * 08 Love One Another * 09 I Feel Like Getting Down * 10 'O' Kailua * 11 Kawaihee * 12 Kona Winds * 13 Sparkle * 14 Papa'a Tita * 15 Kaho'olawe Song * 16 Coast To Coast



Cecillo & Kapona, Kalapana and Seawind are Hawaiian bands I've been familiar with for decades although up until this compilation I was woefully ignorant just how large the Island's music scene was in the late 70's and early 80's, specifically in the city of Waikiki which seems to have been its epicenter. Compiled by Aloha Got Soul website operator Roger Bong for the London based Strut Records, the 16 tracks contrary to the subtitle really doesn't include AOR as American's and British know it but more of the Japanese take which leans towards West Coast/Soul and this isn't necessarily a bad thing as there's plenty to like here.

The Songs
Tender Leaf - Light and breezy, 'Countryside Beauty' has a Seals & Crofts feel with a great hook.

Aura - This rather largish outfit graces the CD cover, offering a sound close to turn of the decade female fronted R&B outfits like Hot, The Emotions and S.O.S Band with a brassy jazz touch on 'Yesterdays Love'.

Aina - 'Your Light' is nice soft pop but you'd never guess it has it has a political message and that's a good thing.

Lemuria - Very much in the Soul Jazz Seawind style on 'Get That Happy Feeling', this is one of the CD's better tracks.

Roy & Roe - 'Just Don't Come Back' turns up the funk, sounding like Lou Rawls backed by Sea Level.

Hawaii - Apparently this short-lived band knocked 'em dead supporting Christopher Cross in Honolulu and they managed to release one album before calling it quits. 'Lady Of My Heart' has all the ingredients of a hit single, too bad it wasn't.

Hal Bradbury - Cool Soul Pop with 'Call Me'.

Mike Lundy - More of the same with 'Love One Another'. Rich, soulful vocals and it's a crowd pleaser.

Nova - Another band named Nova. Wonky Parliament styled bass, female vocals and a lot of faux Discotheque crowd noises. 'I Feel Like Getting Down' brought me down.

Nohelani Cypriano - Nohelani looks like Yvonne Elliman and on ''O' Kailua' she sounds like her too.

Brother Noland - 'Kawaihae' is sort of a weird downer folk song with proggy keys, ARP to be exact. Not sure what to make of it although it would be interesting to hear the rest of his 'Speaking Brown' album.

Marvin Franklin With Kimo And The Guys - Smooth Marvin Gaye influenced R&B on 'Kona Winds' with cool ethnic percussion. Decent tune, dumb moniker.

Greenwood - 'Sparkle' has the same feel as the Aura track although I think I like this better.

Chucky Boy Chock & Mike Kaawa With Brown Co. - 'Papa'a Tita' What? The worst cut here. I guess you had to be Hawaiian or high or both to understand where this Hippie duo was coming from.

Steve & Teresa - As expected a nice lilting Island feel on 'Kaho'olawe Song'. You can just see the sun setting over the Pacific horizon..

Rockwell Fukino - Superb Smooth Jazz. 'Coast to Coast' is the title track for an album I need to find.

In Summary
Strut Records and Roger Bong have done an excellent job here despite a couple clunkers but such is the case with most compilations, not everything is going to appeal to everyone. That said this is an attractive package with detailed booklet notes from Bong, rare photos and album sleeves that documents a once vital and vibrant scene and I for one would love a follow-up. More please!

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#1 | gdazegod on September 05 2016 02:50:26
There is a website page where you can listen to all these songs online.
[url=]Strut Records 'Aloha Got Soul' page[/youtube]
#2 | Explorer on September 05 2016 15:44:24
Blimey, more new stuff to check out.
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