New, and rather good, album from Shoukichi Kina, now 64, and a legendary figure of Okinawan music. Of all the male singers in Okinawan music, Kina's voice is sitll the most likely to send shivers down your spine. That's because he sings from the heart, and the personality of Kina shines through; passionate, intense, humerous, a little bit wild, a little bit loopy at times. It's difficult not to be drawn to the undoubted charisma of the man, something lacking in a lot of the current crop of Okinawan musicians. Kina's voice and sanshin is accompanied by some cheesy keyboards, which might not be appealing from a western viewpoint, but endearingly adds to the local feeling. Released to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan, Kina probably doesn't care what Westerners think anyway. The mostly reflective nature, and meaning of the songs are intended for Okinawans. However, like any world class performer he still has the ability to transcend language and make anyone feel what he's feeling. Listen to samples of all tracks.
1. Hana 2. Agarizachi 3. Omoibana 4. Nageki no Ume 5. Haisai Kuduchi 6. Umushirumun 7. Kanaami no Nai Shima 8. Jahana Noboru 9. Nira Upunushi 10. Shimagwa 2012 11. Iyahoi