Na Hoku Nomination
• Religious Album of the Year
The Reviews are in:
notes: TOA features five Alaiasa brothers (Steve, Moepulou, Kailili,
Donny and Norris) who incorporate hip-hop, pop, blues and doo-wopharmonies
in its delivery of gospel-undercurrent melodies. There's an occasional
quiet and reverent mood on a cluster of tunes, including "Oh Lord
My Redeemer" and "The Lord Is My Shepherd," a taste
of culture on "Lo Ta Nu'u" with exquisite and delicate vocal
blends, a sliver of soul on "Time Goes by Me." And "Dear
Lord I Pray" is a rare hip-hop tribute to Him.
• The outlook: For those who favor and savor
inspirational tunes, TOA's hip brew speaks a language of its own.
• Our take: Meditation never felt so cool.
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Christmas in its purest form is about the birth of Jesus
Christ, and although this album is about Jesus rather than the holiday
that bears his name, it is a timely reminder of the reason for the season.
The five Alaiasa brothers express their faith with a mixed bag of earnest
originals and covers, with Donny and Norris Alaiasa contributing five
songs between them. Norris also wrote "Introlude," a spoken-word
track that explains the significance of the album's title.
Norris and Donny did the vocal arrangements as well, and they wisely
chose to emphasize the group's tight five-part harmonies. There are a
few live instruments in the mix, and some synth stuff is used to good
effect as well, but nothing overshadows the brothers' voices or the message
they share with their listeners.
The five brothers, Norris, Donny, Moepulou, Steve
and Kalili bring their talent to the masses in an amalgamation of soulful
voices that carry what they call their PG (Positive Grooves) to all
who will hear. No less than five of the CD’s tracks were written
entirely by the brothers and engineered by Sam Tuuga whose talents
were borrowed from the capable Pacific Dream Records group. Brothers
Norris and Donny combined with Executive Producers Vaihi Entertainment
to create the majority of the original tracks including Dear Lord I
Pray, One Song and the upbeat Time Goes By Me.
Though the CD falls under the Gospel genre, the
compelled to draw inspiration from their Samoan roots, weaving their
lyrics over R&B, acapella, soul and barber shop quartet to show off
their vocal range. The brothers are particularly versatile in their version
of the timeless Samoan anthem Lo Ta Nuu, sending the listener to the
shores of American Samoa where the brothers were raised for a number
of years while developing their talents for the stage.
The Alaiasa brothers are eager to make a mark on both the Polynesian
and the gospel fronts. Their sound is contemporary and at the same time
classic and their audience will appreciate their efforts.