Te Vaka: Oliata
By Alison Millar
If you're feeling in need of an escape to the islands, this album won't help! Te Vaka's latest blends contemporary influences with traditional Polynesian music, achieving enough catchiness to be accessible and warrant repeated listening. The album's cover and inlay feature stunning Pacific graphics as well as translations for the lyrics which are mostly composed in Polynesian languages. Our Ocean was written for Greenpeace; the organisation asked Te Vaka to address over-fishing in the Pacific. In fact every song on the album contains a spiritual, social or environmental reference and several feature footnotes with background information. Strongly led by songwriter / vocalist Opetaia Foa'i, Te Vaka have been active for 10 years, during which time they have toured globally and made time to record five albums as well asa few live DVDs. They are WOMAD regulars and certainly by design a live performance troupe, but 'Oliata' will readily transport you to the tropical island of your day dreams.