Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Rei is one of the most interesting and successful local artists who has successfully bridged r'n'b, pop and hip-hop as well as effortlessly using te reo as a vehicle, as he does on this album which is replete with strong songs and messages of positivity, self-determination and some amusingly explicit or metaphorical sexual imagery: “No matter how long I'm gone for, when I'm back it's on like donkey kong”.
Rapeti hooks in the old music hall/pre-school like Oma Rapeti (which Moana also to great effect in Whole World's Watching) for a lyric about mutual respect and encouraging youth to work hard and take control of their destiny.
Rei has a highly flexible vocal style (softly soulful on Herekore and Nanawe where required) and with guests Tyna and Lion Rezz as supportive presences this is a fine te reo album.
And the slippery, witty bilingual Holy Heka at the end – the first single but not actually representative of the more subtle tracks elsewhere – is sassy, percussive and sensual.
You can hear this album at Spotify here