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You may know Tia for her roles in the blockbuster films True Lies, Waynes World and Rising Sun alongside such luminaries as Arnold Schwarzenneger, Mike Myers, Sean Connery, and Wesley Snipes.
Or you may recognize Tia from her own internationally syndicated television series, Relic Hunter, in which she starred as the daredevil professor of antiquities.
You might even have seen Tia kicking up her heels on ABCs Dancing with the Stars.
But you will certainly be amazed and delighted to share in Tias newest project hawaiiana, her album of classic Hawaiian music.
Music has always been Tias passion ever since she was a child. Reuniting with high school friend, two-time Grammy Award winner Daniel Ho, they have created a record of unsurpassed beauty. Each track features Tias pristine vocals accompanied by solo slack key guitar or ukulele. Please enjoy the simplicity and soulfulness of hawaiiana.
"HAWAIIANA" BY TIA CARRERE; DANIEL HO CREATIONS
Genre: Traditional and contemporary Hawaiian.
Distinguishing notes: Most of the world knows Tia Carrere as an actress; she's been in blockbuster films such as "Wayne's World" and "True Lies." The younger folks know her as the voice of Nani, on Disney's "Lilo & Stitch" films, DVDs and TV show. Her school chums remember she was a previous Brown Bags to Stardom winner, and yes, she's had history as a pop-rock artist on a mainstream label (Warner Bros). "Hawaiiana," however, marks her debut as an Island singer of Hawaiian tunes and it's one of the most appealing, revelatory endeavors of her career.
The tone here is uniformly gentle, quiet almost like a mother's serenades to her baby as Carrere's sweet, personal mana'o is augmented by two-time Grammy-winning guitarist-'ukulele stylist Daniel Ho's plaintive arrangements and accompaniment to yield a sweet eloquence best exemplified in the uncluttered "I'll Remember You." With proper marketing, this could become this generation's discovery of that Kui Lee classic popularized by Don Ho.
From the syncopated " 'Ulili E" to the nostalgic "He Aloha Mele," this is a warm embrace of some favored tunes from an Islander whose yearnings for the Island experience resonates, through and through. "Aloha 'Oe" is sentimental and reflective, "Pupu Hinuhinu" recalls childhood memories. Many other riches are here: "Ku'u Lei 'Awapuhi," "Hi'ilawe," "Pua 'Olena," "Ku'u Ipo I Ka He'e Pu'e One," even "Po La'i E," the Hawaiian version of "Silent Night." (Think of this as a very early Christmas present).
"Sing," The Carpenters' old hit, is the lone non-Island entity, yet it suits the mode of the CD. Come to think of it, with Ho's Israel Kamakawiwo'ole-inspired strumming and Carrere's incandescent reading, a hit here also looms.
Our take: A delightful re-discovery of some favorite songs and a reimagined Carrere in a bright new light.
Also see Feature story posted on same day: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2007/Jun/29/en/FP706290310.html
"STRONG 'HAWAIIANA' HERALDS CARRERE'S RETURN TO ROOTS"
HAWAII knew her first as Althea Janairo, a contestant in KIKI's "Brown Bags to Stardom" talent competition in the 1980s. The world has embraced her as Tia Carrere, a glamorous actress/singer whose film credits stretch from "Wayne's World" and "True Lies" in the early 1990s, to providing the voice of Lilo's sister, Nani, in Disney's animated "Lilo and Stitch," and its sequels.
"Hawaiiana," produced by two-time Grammy Award-winner Daniel Ho, a friend from Carrere's "Brown Bags" days, is a musical return to the songs she grew up with. With Ho providing accompaniment on ukulele and slack-key guitar, it is a perfect homecoming.
Carrere opens with "Aloha 'Oe," an odd choice given the song's kaona (hidden meanings) but a shrewd one considering that this is the song that people who know her from "Lilo and Stitch" are most likely to recognize. Although it's been more than 20 years since "Brown Bags," and more than a decade since her last full-length album, Carrere reaffirms her credentials as a singer and song stylist with the first few verses. It isn't hard at all to visualize "Hawaiiana" as a winner in the 2008 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards -- and perhaps in the Best Hawaiian Album category at the Grammys as well.
That impression is maintained through the songs that follow as Carrere and Ho carry on with exquisite renditions of popular Hawaiian and hapa-haole standards. "He Aloha Mele," "Pupu Hinuhinu" and "Hi'ilawe" are three that merit particular comment. Each has been done many times over the years, but Carrere and Ho make their versions worth hearing. For instance, Carrere captures the hapa-haole imagery and the parental love contained in "He Aloha Mele." "Hi'ilawe" is often performed as a hula song, but Carrere and Ho emphasize the lyrics rather than the rhythm. This works well, too.
An acoustic arrangement of "Sing" adds one of Carrere's favorite oldies to the project, and perhaps will bring mainstream play on "easy-listening" radio. Carrere's tranquil take on "Po La'i E (Silent Night)" gives her entrée to seasonal radio play forever.
Ho wisely keeps studio add-ons minimal. Carrere's multitracked vocals create a choral effect on "Pupu Hinuhinu," but the instrumental arrangements are clean and acoustic throughout. No synth tracks mar the natural acoustic beauty of these recordings. Ho's guitar and ukulele are all that are needed to make "Hawaiiana" one of the prettiest Hawaiian albums so far this year.
Carrere and Ho complete this beautiful album by including her comments about the personal significance of the songs and archival photos of her early years here.
|Additional Reviews and Features
|Midweek cover story on Friday, June 29, 2007:
Hawaii Tribune Herald, Arts & Entertainment feature on Friday, June 22, 2007:
Oceanic Time Warner Cable's AroundHawaii.com, Lifestyle column on Sunday, July 1, 2007:
|Music has always been a part of my family. My maternal grandmother sang harmony with her sisters on Hawaiian radio during WWII. My paternal grandfather, although a lawyer by trade, wrote love songs in his spare time. Every family gathering was like a homegrown talent show. Anyone who could sing or play an instrument would be expected to share their talent with all that were present. So here I am to share some of my favorite songs from the place I was born and raised and long to return to, Hawai'i.
The best part about recording this album is singing traditional songs to my baby daughter. Her face just lights up at the melodies and some of the lyrics just make her giggle.
Theres a special feeling you get whenever you visit Hawai'i. Everything slows down just enough so that you can savor each moment. I hope this music reminds you even a little bit of that feeling. I know I felt it as I sang these beautiful songs.
|Aloha 'Oe - When I was working on Lilo & Stitch, the directors had a question as to how I might say goodbye to my sister Lilo in a scene. I thought I might do it in song. I was so excited when they agreed to my suggestion of Aloha 'Oe, the timeless composition by Hawai'is last reigning monarch, Queen Liliu'okalani.
He Aloha Mele - Apparently the author, Iva Kinimaka, wrote this song for his daughter. Funny, I pictured singing this song to my daughter as we recorded it.
Pupu Hinuhinu - Nona Beamers lullaby about shiny shells was written for the children in her family. In no time, it became popular among all of Hawai'is children. In my minds eye, I picture my daughter dancing hula to this song, holding 'ili 'ili in her little hands. Just adorable!
'Ulili E - This rhythmic song about birds running along the shore is popular with children and adults alike. I love the way Bianca giggles every time I sing the ahahanas and ehehenes.
Ku'u Ipo I Ka He'e Pu'e One - Princess Likelike sings of her love in this, the most famous of her compositions. I think it was a sophomore at my high school that sang this song for another Brown Bags contest. Ive loved it ever since.
Hi'ilawe - The first Hawaiian song about paparazzi. It tells the story of a love affair that takes place in the legendary Waipi'o Valley. The birds, or manu, in the song refer to people gossiping, and the lovers are trying to escape them.
Pua 'Olena - I have loved this song about the precious 'olena blossom since I heard it during the Brown Bags to Stardom contest. BBTS is a radio station talent contest that Daniel and I competed in together.
Po La'i E (Silent Night) - Just a gorgeous song no matter what language you sing it in.
Ku'u Lei 'Awapuhi - In preparing this song to record, I realized there were many, many ways to approach it. The rendition that I found most inspiring to me was the Loyal Garner version. Loyal Garner, who was also an alumnus of Sacred Hearts Academy like myself, remains as a favorite voice in Hawaiian music. Rest her lovely soul.
Sing - The brilliant and deceptively simple song made famous by one of my biggest influences, Karen Carpenter. The lyrics are words to live by.
Ill Remember You - Kui Lees heartbreaking tune became all the more tragic after his death from cancer at age 34. Was it an aunt or an uncle that sang this at a family gathering? No matter... it left an indelible impression.
All Hawaiian slack key guitar tracks are played in G Kilauea tuning (D G C G B E) or Bb Kilauea (F Bb Eb Bb D G). Daniel Ho plays Yamaha guitars & KoAloha 'ukuleles.
Record Label: Daniel Ho Creations
Recorded: April - May 2007
Release Date: June 2007