The very much anticipated album from the Hawaiian natives, The Green, hit retailers on August 20, 2013 to the delight of many many patient fans around the globe. The album simply entitled Hawai’i ’13 pays homage to the bands tight hometown roots and stays true to their image, which is apparent from the start of the album with the track titled “He Mele No Ku’u Hawai’i”. Students of the Halau Lokahi Charter School set the tone for the album in a very traditional chant which isn’t unusual in the Hawaiian culture, as chanting is a way to indicate a start of something significant. This holds true, as the first week of album sales topped close to 5,000, along with topping the Billboard Reggae Charts at number one, and an impressive number 77 on the Top 200 thanks to The Green’s very pronounced and loyal fanbase.
This sounds like a horrible formula for a song, but leave it to The Green and you have a hit.
The Green isn’t a stranger to these amazingly successful numbers either. In 2010, their self-titled debut album was named iTunes Best Reggae Album of the Year. Following this trend, the second album “Ways & Means” sat cozy at the Number 1 spot on the Billboard’s Reggae Chart for four weeks, and also won the Best Reggae Album of Hawaii’s highly acclaimed Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
The album doesn’t stray too far from it’s tried and true formula, which is not a bad thing at all. Besides, why fix something that isn’t broke? Hawai’i ’13, along with the other Green albums tend to find it’s way to our media players much more frequently with the “set it and forget it” mental attitude where the album is just great from start to finish. A few tracks do stand out more so than the others however.
“Good One” This track talks about something we’ve all gone through at some point of our lives, some more than others. The hurt that you feel getting up from an epic and legendary night, the spins, the confusion, the pain, the stumbling… did I mention pain? This sounds like a horrible formula for a song, but leave it to The Green and you have a hit. The melody and the overall “funkiness” from the bass of this track is off the charts (hats off to you Brad!). Reading the lyrics out loud, you would think that this track would be a “downer”, but somehow this song manages to get us going, a happy song even.
“Good Vibe Killah” Heartbreak and rejection. These two things combined spawn creativity and great lyrics. It’s sad but true, however this formula along with the general rebellious attitude are just a few things that make The Green songs so good.
“Chocolates & Roses” Pure sex. That is all we have to say. This track really surprised us in that it fell a little outside of what we thought The Green sounded like. It threw us off a bit, but after listening to it a few more times…pure sex. In the mood for some lovin’? Throw this track on and you’re guaranteed to get lucky. If not, I’m sure The Green will perform live in your bedroom for you, right guys??
The lead-up to the album release was executed beautifully and should not be without mention. Outside of playing songs from their new album on stage, The Green released the track “Take Me On” to the public months before the release date which took Twitter, Facebook and other social media avenues by storm. Once the public got a taste of this, they were hungry for more like a school of shark at the first scent of bait. Just weeks later, a campaign hit Twitter and Instagram called #thegreen808day which included streaming of the entire album for 24 hours on their website, followed by a treasure hunt in their hometown where the album was left at random locations where clues of its whereabouts were Tweeted to the public. The amount of work, preparation, and overall thoughtfulness for the release just shows how dedicated The Green is to it’s own fans.
If you were a fan of The Green’s prior work, you will be a fan of this album, no doubt.
Released August 20, 2013 • Easy Star Records
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.