Easy Star Records
October 28, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4/5|
After cousins Caleb Keolanui and JP Kennedy put their previous band, Next Generation, to rest, they recruited Ikaika Antone and Zion Thompson to form the Green in 2009 on Oahu, Hawaii. The Green "fuses late 1970s-era dub-heavy roots reggae with strands of contemporary rock/pop/R&B and sporadic indigenous Hawaiian musical and lyrical references” (Billboard). After the release of their debut album in 2010, The Green began a heavy touring cycle, including runs with Rebelution and SOJA, Vans Warped Tour, and internationally in Japan, New Zealand, and Guam.
In fall 2012, after the release of the #1 Billboard Reggae Album "Ways & Means", the sextet completed their first headlining US tour, including multiple sold out dates. This past spring The Green completed their 'Take Me On Tour', which included stops at Wakarusa, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and Cali Roots, along with headlining shows and performances with Damian "Jr Gong" Marley and Stephen Marley. Then the Green released their latest album "Hawai'i '13" set for worldwide release through Easy Star Records.
Hawai‘i '13, recorded in February and March 2013, is the first Green album using a dedicated producer/engineer. Kalb, best known for his work with Ben Harper, was introduced to the band by Easy Star Records. The 15 track album opens with the traditional Hawaiian chant He Mele No Ku'u Hawai'i and closes with Hawai‘i Aloha, recorded by The Green with kids from local Hawaiian charter schools. In between you'll get treated to a collection of reggae tunes and one pop ballad called Chocolate & Roses, a tune that reminds us of some songs of Maroon 5. The first single off the new album - Take Me On - received heavy commercial radio airplay in Hawaii.
The licked reggae songs are well arranged (mostly lovers) tunes, with flavours of rock (guitars!), pop and r&b, but miss the rawness characteristic of most Jamaican productions. The band wrote most songs and they have come up with a smooth selection of catchy tunes that will please a lot of music fans. Even Before is a laid back jazzy-ish tune, while Good Vibe Killah opens with a distorted guitar intro before a heavy one drop riddim takes over. Hold Me Tight gives some nice dub effects across a pumping riddim and Forgive Me offers a little too much rock to make a good impression. Count To 3 and Always & Forever are excellent lovers tunes, while Stand & Rise sees the band inna roots and culture style.
Strong commercial set, not for the reggae purists, but with nuff crossover potential!