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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, November 19, 2001

CD review
'Progression' pulls off updated oldies

 •  Sean Na'auao CDs offer a double treat in style
 •  'Holomua' mixes old with new

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

By Sean Na'auo
Poi Pounder Records

This fun project demonstrates Na'auao's chameleon strength. He updates oldies with delicious joy: "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" with its ooh-wahs, as well as "Sincerely."

"Easy," another remake, keeps some of the blues riffs but very little of the country spirit — and the transformation works. Similarly, "Let's Stay Together" is richly R&B with a little more muscle in the instrumentation, impressive vocal flexing and a hip-hop surprise.

The island rhythm motif prevails, with a lot of bounce and sweet harmonies. Where others may duplicate, Na'auao carves his own niche, starting with the requisite backbeat and style (a rap midway through "Circle This Date," for instance) and actually propelling the movement forward.

"Coming in From the Cold" and "Baby Baby" are geared for pop radio, too.

How did "Hui Eia Nei" wind up in this "contemporary" line-up? The bilingual ditty could easily be the bridge song: It captures the two worlds of Na'auao, Jawaiian but also Hawaiian, in effect and in execution.