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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 5, 2006

ISLAND SOUNDS
Kroon's romantic 'Candlelight' will make you swoon

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

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Kroon brings back the flavor of yesteryear's cool Hawaiian jazz and it's a keeper for the romantic at heart.

The Kekai Boyz' second album continues the momentum of the first.

Listen up:

"KROON BY CANDLELIGHT" BY KROON; KROONSTER RECORDS

  • Genre: Traditional, contemporary Hawaiian.

  • Distinguishing notes: Kroon puts a sweetly romantic spin on Island classics and tosses in two originals. He's a first-rate crooner, projecting quiet passion and whispery optimism. Acoustic to the max (backed by his own guitar, with some occasional embellishments from piano, steel, bass and drums), Kroon's sound is all about moonlight and beachside escapes.

    Whether it's "Pua Lilia" or "E Maliu Mai," love prevails. There's also an element of tranquility in every track (check out "Makahilahila" and "Pua Mae'ole," and you get the drift).

    Kroon projects a slight jazz undercurrent, notably on one of his compositions, "Malie Ke Aloha," echoing early pioneers like Richard Kauhi and George Pauoa.

    The CD title is right on target: Put on the disc, light up the candle, pour the wine it's wonderful.

  • The outlook: For those looking for dinner music or chansons d'amour, this is the one to acquire.

  • Our take: Kroon can make anyone swoon.

    "HEART & SOUL" BY THE KEKAI BOYZ; FEARLESS HAWAIIAN ENTERPRISES

  • Genre: Reggae, world music.

  • Distinguishing notes: Kekai Boyz, the pride of Keaukaha on the Big Island, continues their reggae-infused Island sounds on this second album. Group members are Chris Kua, Avery Reis, Tyron Nicolas, Jonathan Kua, CJ Kua and Ace Loughmiller.

    "I Want You To Know" sounds like the track that translates into h-i-t, with its mellow and harmonic vocals and crisp guitar accompaniment. "Remember Our Name" is a reinforcement of the group's thrust into the limelight; "Sometime Ago" forsakes a Jawaiian tempo with a measure of confidence and exploration.

    One curiosity, with clever touches, is "Graffiti in the Bathroom," which amusingly details the sight-'ems. There are guest appearances by members of Sudden Rush, B.E.T., the SD Island Boys, Dynomite, Big Mountain and Talksicc, to add a measure of celebrity.

  • The outlook: The first CD was no illusion; this sophomore set reflects progress and growth.

  • Our take: These Boyz are hot.

    Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com.