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Reviewed by Anzel Singh

Ria Hall: Rules Of Engagement

Reviewed by Anzel Singh

Ria Hall: Rules Of Engagement

A descendant of Tauranga tribes, Ria Hall musically journeys into her homeland’s past, specifically 1864’s Battle of Gate Pa, from which a letter from Henare Taratoa to Sir George Grey regarding how both parties should act during war inspired this debut album.

In These Trenches featuring Te Kahupakea Rolleston opens the record with powerful spoken word poetry over electronic sound effects implying the travel back in time.

Interludes are prevalent throughout with 50,000 Acres broadcasting archival recordings and The Battle and Te Ranga involving Turirangi Te Kani emphasising the snapshot of time.

Te Kawa O Te Riri takes the role of the first song and delivers with a catchy chorus that feels unstoppable with suspense building and a vibe allowing Hall’s vocals to match that of a melodic warrior.

Singles Love Will Lead Us Home and Barely Know brings the 1800s to the 21st Century with the latter featuring chart-topper Kings.

Combining te reo Māori and English, while contrasting live instruments/electronics and multiple genres, recording artist and songwriter Hall makes her album creation an embodiment of remnants that was worth the five-plus years it took to conceive.