Monday, August 13, 2012
This is the last album of new material Kalapana has released to date. Released in 2002 it was something of a phoenix story for the band.
In 1999, Mackey Feary, one of the band's founding members committed suicide after a long battle with substance abuse. Kalapana performed a tribute concert in Waikiki in early 2000 but stayed out of the music scene until the release of this album in 2002.
"Blue Album" is the band's best album in years. They have written a strong batch of songs and have also found an excellent medium between their Jazz Fusion/Pop/Rock/Folk style of the 1970s and their more electronic sound of the 1980s and 90s.
Malani Bilyeu dominates the album with the excellent and super catchy "Another Lonely Night," "Ten Years After (featuring the group CHANT)," "Keala," "Lost Love" and "Coming Home to You."
Maurice Bega, a friend and former bandmate of Feary's, provides lead vocals on two songs and back up on all the others. Bega also performed Feary's vocals at the Kalapana performance in 2000. Gaylord Holomalia is great on keyboards and as engineer gives all the songs a great sound. DJ Pratt has some killer guitar solos.
The album is dedicated to Feary and it is a winner. It does, however, lose steam in the last four tracks but that does not diminish its excellence. After this album Kalapana was touring almost constantly with new member Zanuck Lindsey filling in on guitar and Mackey Feary vocals. Since 2008 the band's performances have become very erratic, particularly Bilyeu's stage antics and weakening voice. A proposed anniversary concert in 2009 was canceled and the band has since vanished from the music scene.
If this does turn out to be their final album they went out on a good note.