Review: Natural Vibrations – Got This Music

Review: Natural Vibrations – Got This Music

Natural Vibrations – Got This Music
Track Listing:
1.) Party & Dance
2.) Got This Music
3.) Gotta Get Away
4.) Anxiously Waiting
5.) Don’t Worry (ft. Quela Pua’ali-Puahi)
6.) Exhale
7.) Can’t Stop (ft. 2Boi)
8.) Sound So Easy
9.) The Vibes (ft. Jay and 2Boi)
10.) Destiny Calling
11.) Are You Ready (ft. Papa T)
12.) Sensi Nation (ft. Papa T)

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: Sept 6th, 2011
Record Label: Go Aloha Entertainment
Official Website: Natural Vibrations Website

Group Background:
Natural Vibrations, aka Natty Vibes, Hawaii’s top party and dance band (or so we’re told), have been driving the Pacific reggae scene for over 15 years. The band’s sound is a catchy amalgam of pop/rock/reggae with smooth vocal harmonies and dance rhythms. The band is joined on Got This Music by a small host of guest contributors including Papa T of B.E.T. (Big Every Time) & lead singer Peni Pua’aauli’s daughter Quela Pua’ali-Puahi.

Album Review:
Continuing The Pier’s recent coverage of all things Pacific Island Region, I’ve been deemed the pleasure of reviewing the latest album from Natural Vibrations, Hawaiian reggae veterans whose combination of dancehall rhythm, soulful harmonies and laidback island vibes stand as a crucial point of reference in the development of modern Hawaiian reggae. Unabashedly pop, Got This Music touches upon every reggae archetype from the ganja anthem (“Sensi Nation”) to the call to arms (“Destiny Calling”) to the love conquers all mantra (“Don’t Worry”).

The album opens with “Party and Dance,” a bass heavy dancehall smasher whose ominous introduction obscures the song’s lighthearted subject matter. The track begins with a barrage of rhythmic gasps, heavy and hollow, like the sound of a dog’s pant. Hand drums and shaker enter into a rhythmic frenzy until piano, bass and guitar emerge as well to spin the track’s dimensions 180 degrees.

Although the band’s technical prowess shines throughout, their songwriting stands second to none. Nearly every track has been plied with urgent, resonating lyrics and vocal harmonies with earworm melodies that burrow for days. “Destiny Calling,” “Exhale” and the ukulele driven “Are You Ready” (which bears a similar introduction to KT Tunstall’s hit “Black Horse & The Cherry Tree”) demonstrate their cunning blend of lyricism, melody and rhythmic variation to the great success.

Unfortunately, before my editor dropped Got This Music in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I knew nothing of Natural Vibrations, even though their career spans over 15 years. Got This Music has certainly ignited my interest in this band and their back catalogue, and I hope several Pier readers may share my curiosity and explore both this band’s past and present musical output.

You can purchase Got This Music on iTunes by clicking HERE

Written & Reviewed by: Chris Castro

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]