Singer/actress Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho have united once again in a formula that has won them a Grammy, and the good thing about it is that they’re really good at what they do together. Their new collaborationis called He Nani (Daniel Ho Creations), and as with their earlier albums, Ho handles all of the instrumentation. The songs here range from observing and respecting the land (the title track), which is explored even further in “Ho’opo’omaika’i”, a song which simply says to be thankful through the spirit of aloha. Some of the lyrics are playful and may be considered double entendre, but that’s for you to figure out.
One of the album’s finest moments is what is called The Pumehana Trilogy, which brings together “‘Aina Pumehana”, “Home Pumehana”, and “Me Ke Aloha Pumehana”, a triad of songs that were written by Amy Ku’uleialoha Stillman and Ho as a wedding gift for Ho and his wife, who married last year. What I also like is how Carrere and Ho can be very playful, showing some of Carrere’s old school sensibilities and love of her hanabata days, as she does in “The Dessert Song”. Here, she talks about the delicious German chocolate and French butter cream cakes, pastries with haupia, and occasionally messing up the mouth despite its delights. All someone needs to do now is a song about the greatness of Liliha Bakery, and it will be a sweet tooth battle.
Carrere & Ho are a great duo,and hopefully in the future they’ll be able to bring together not only additional Hawaiian musicians and singers to get involved, but also artists from the rock, pop, and country world, just to see how much more developed the sound could be. However, some may feel that it doesn’t need that, keep things simply without going overboard. It’s good time Hawaiian music with a traditional feel, and a sensibility that comes from those who not only long for the good ol’ days, but those who wish to share it to those in today’s modern world.