We are honored to bring Kalapana's second album, Kalapana II, back to vinyl for the first time in nearly four decades.
The vinyl release will be available on Sunday, June 26, 2022.
Whereas Kalapana's debut LP, Kalapana, was a masterfully crafted exercise in soulful rock pop, their sophomore album, Kalapana II, saw the band expanding and stretching itself toward a signature sound.
The LP kicks off with a powerful pair of tracks — "Love Em" and "Freedom" — gliding into the classic Malani ballad, "(For You) I'd Chase A Rainbow", followed by a string of bluesy, folksy, country tunes, "The Way That I Want It To Be" and "Dorothy Louise". Then comes the beloved pop hit penned by Mackey Feary: "Moon And Stars", as warm as the sun in all its lush, vocal harmonic glory. The jazz-funk jam "Black Sand" re-centers the album for its second wind, where the lovely "Lost Again" carries us across the sea. "Wandering Stranger" is a recent favorite of mine, a forlorn drinking song of sorts. The catchy "Juliette" is Mackey's final hurrah here (he left the band shortly after this album's release). And "Nathan's Lament" is a prelude to a rock-forward sound on subsequent albums without Mackey.
As with other Kalapana reissues on Aloha Got Soul, this one is vinyl only (no digital). Here's a look at the color variants we've pressed:
Following the massive success of their debut album in 1975, Kalapana returned to the studio in 1976, this time at Audiotronics in West Covina, California, this time taking the lead in producing the record. Barry Fasman, the Los Angeles-based producer whom the band credited with making their first record shine, joined them in the studio for string arrangements and to conduct certain tracks. However, on Kalapana II, the band felt fully prepared to produce the album themselves. And they did so, marvelously.
Little did they know, this would be the last time all four original band members — Mackey Feary, Malani Bilyeu, D.J. Pratt and Kirk Thompson — would record an album together.
Second in a trio of eponymous albums from 1975 to 1977, Kalapana II expanded upon Kalapana I’s now-classic sound while leaning into styles not previously heard on their debut: lead vocalist Malani Bilyeu weaved a love-lorn country ballad into the new LP with “Wandering Stranger”, and keyboardist Kirk Thompson forever left his mark on the group’s legacy with the latin jazz-funk instrumental, “Black Sand”. (The tune became a staple for the band’s live performances: they’ve opened practically every concert ever since with the composition).
Considering the mastery and timelessness of Kalapana I, a sophomore LP could have easily fallen short of the high standard they had set. Yet they did it, cutting a second LP with back-to-back, timeless hits that continue to resonate today. As a quartet — supported by the propulsion of drummer Alvin Fejarang and saxophonist Michael Paulo’s prowess — Mackey Feary, Malani Bilyeu, D.J. Pratt, and Kirk Thompson solidified their legacy as one of Hawaii’s greatest groups of all-time with this recording.
Check out the album on Bandcamp, too!