The island sound was very prominent in the late 90s and early 2000s, but it has all but faded to the background. With the exception of the occasional 311 radio play – which if you think that is authentic island music we have a bridge to sell – it would seem the mainstream world has moved on.
This is all perfectly fine by me; because the sound is alive and well. A leader and powerhouse in the modern island/Reggae sound is The Green. If you’ve heard of them, fantastic, if you haven’t, start taking notes.
The deeply soulful sound emanating from The Green’s Hawai’I ’13 is absolutely everything you could ask for in a fifteen track stretch of authentic island style.
And the album couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
As summer draws nearer its end, the sunsets become more vibrant and everything outside settles into a state of calm to which there is no better soundtrack than Hawai’I ’13. From addicting lyrical rhymes (“Something About It” and “Good Vibe Killah”) to mellow grooves you instantly chill with (“Good One” and “Take Me On”) the album stretches out in a fantastic self-awareness.
Built around a love for their home, The Green take what some may quickly disregard as another Reggae release and do their homeland proud. It is culturally deep throughout, making for a vibrantly rich listen. Even when the record steps into R&B with “Chocolates & Roses,” it is easy to feel the sincerity and passion in every beat and word. Most impressively, aside from the unwavering talent, deep grooves and good vibes – to which you will not be immune – no part of Hawai’I ’13 gets old. I could listen to this over and over again and still be as impressed as I was the first time.
If someone were to come to me and say pick one album to bring the Reggae/island sound back to the front of the pack, without batting an eye, I would thrust Hawai’I ’13 into their hands. The Green has received immense praise in the past and their latest release will only raise that bar again. Turning to more love than politics and more airy than forceful, The Green play to the middle with a practical but very impressive presence.