17 Jan 2022
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Aro - Album Review: Manu

29 Nov 2018 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

Aro; the husband and wife team made up of Charles and Emily Looker, will be releasing their debut album titled Manu (bird) in February 2019. This ten-track album is a bilingual Te Reo Maori and English native bird inspired project. It is, in short, delightful.

Having met Charles and Emily and seen Aro play live, when I listened to this album my first thought was this is the perfect fit for them. Combining Charles (Ngapuhi) first learnt language of Te Reo with English, this album captures the fun and cheeky essence of the couple whilst also telling stories inspired by native bird song.

It all started with the song of a Tui and evolved into a magical album of storytelling inspired by nature.

The captivating and hauntingly beautiful sound of taonga puoro played by Shane Mclean can be heard weaving its magical sound throughout the album. The duo effortlessly moves between Te Reo and the English languages creating a fresh sound “through songs that are memorable with words that are encouraging and fun to sing”. This is a sound which should appeal to the target audience of a younger crowd “this uniquely ‘Kiwi’ album can help young people feel proud of who they are”.

These are catchy songs which incorporate the personality of each bird. Each one of the birds which are featured on this album is distinctive to New Zealand. The melodies and rhythms of these native birds can be heard clearly coming through in each track. The couple’s voices complementing one another, creating layers of vocal harmonies on top of each other. “Engaging narrative and vivacious lyrics “The essence of the native birds of Aotearoa has been captured in the narrative of each song through vocal hooks, Maori rhythms, chants and expressive instrumentation”.

As I type this there is a Tui singing to me from the tree outside. Possibly one of the most beautiful sounds you can hope to hear.

Also, as I am in the process of collating my thoughts about Manu, I came across Aro's interview by Lora (also of Muzic.net.nz). I loved what Charles had to say in the very last line “Making this album has been like making a waka that you don’t know what it could do until you put it out to sea”

This is lively and cheerful yet at the same time inspiring and engaging. I was completely captivated by the stories told through the birds and I very much look forward to seeing Aro perform this album live.

This is currently my go-to album to take a break from the world and let the music wash over me. I heard the love which went into making Manu, filter through the music.

Aro suits this couple perfectly ‘Aro mai, Aro atu, Aroha’ To face, to be faced, to love.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Aro

Aro consists of husband and wife Charles (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice). The pair share a passion for the power of language and music to tell stories and remind us of our cultural identity. The duo were finalists for the Maioha Award at the Silver Scrolls (2019) and the APRA Best Children’s Song Award for their song Korimako (2020).




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Aro

Releases

He Wai
Year: 2021
Type: EP
He Manu Ano
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Manu
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Van Jams
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Aro
Year: 2017
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Corinne Rutherford

Neutrikk - EP Review: E-P 2
08 Dec 2021 // by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland duo Neutrikk have just released their second EP. Cleverly called E-P 2, I must admit to spending longer than I should have trying to find the name of the EP in the Bio.
Read More...
Sabreen Islam - Single Review: Like A Movie
16 Nov 2021 // by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based young singer-songwriter Sabreen Islam has just released her follow up single to Glow in the trilogy of pop-oriented singles. Like A Movie is a track firmly aimed at the youth market "capturing the rift between romcoms and real life".
Read More...
Alba Rose - EP Review: Silhouette
12 Nov 2021 // by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based singer songwriter Alba Rose has released her lush four track EP, Silhouette. A beautifully rich collection of soulful jazz, contemporary in its delivery incorporating an indie-pop and neo-soul sound wrapped around playful harmonious lyrics.
Read More...
Older - Album Review: HUMAN+
31 Oct 2021 // by Corinne Rutherford
Waikato based British producer Jel Legg and Kiwi singer Julie Legg are Post Punk band Older. Following on from their debut album Silence (2019) is their anticipated second album HUMAN+, which is due for release 1st November 2021.
Read More...
John Martin - Album Review: Zealander
14 Sep 2021 // by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based Drummer/Singer and multi-instrumentalist; John Martin has just released his third album Zealander. His love of strong pop melodies and James Brown covers shine through on this album mingling with his uniquely upbeat sound.
Read More...
Disciple Pati - Single/Video Review: Serious
19 Aug 2021 // by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland’s newest pop/RnB powerhouse Disciple Pati has just released her latest single Serious, along with a “revenge fantasy” style music video which the artist explains as “channeled my violent inner sadist for this moment so y’all don’t have to”. The video ultimately is about getting payback after a production meeting doesn’t go according to plan.
Read More...
Valentina - Album Review: Renaissance
10 Aug 2021 // by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based Transgressive vocalist and producer Valentina, has just released her debut album Renaissance. Described as a "Hyperpop album", it is filled with wonder, exploring a diverse range of genres such as Bubblegum Pop, UK Garage, Techno, 90's House with elements of Classical and Baroque.
Read More...
Compilation Review: Blood And Wires Volume Two
20 Jul 2021 // by Corinne Rutherford
Independent record label Tauranga based Blood And Wires have released Volume Two, the second instalment in a series of original electronic and experimental tracks which takes the listener on a journey through distorted synths through to serene ambient instrumentation. Blood And Wires Volume Two combines the talent of 8 talented New Zealand artists united by the idea of an experimental approach to creating music.
Read More...
View All Articles By Corinne Rutherford

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DOWN UNDER
    Luude feat. Colin Hay
  • COLD HEART (PNAU REMIX)
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
  • FINGERS CROSSED
    Lauren Spencer-Smith
  • ABCDEFU
    GAYLE
  • MR REGGAE
    L.A.B.
  • EASY ON ME
    Adele
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • HEAT WAVES
    Glass Animals
  • STAY
    The Kid LAROI And Justin Bieber
  • SHIVERS
    Ed Sheeran
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem