Israel Kamakawiwoole's Wonderful World

Wonderful World, Israel Kamakawiwoole, (Mountain Apple Co.)


Published:

It’s hard to believe that someone listened to Israel Kamakawiwoole’s simple, classic medley of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” and thought: You know what would make this song even better? If we chopped off the first half of it, overdubbed a schmaltzy orchestral arrangement onto what’s left, and then dropped a rambling, spoken word interlude into the mix.

This revisionist aesthetic has been extended to an entire album’s worth of Iz tracks, with orchestral arrangements embellishing both popular Iz favorites, such as “White Sandy Beach,” and rarities, such as a live recording of “E Kuu Morning Dew.” The results are akin to smearing cheese onto the delicate wings of a butterfly. Nothing that has been added reveals anything new about Kamakawiwoole’s timeless appeal.

The best tracks are the subtlest ones, which, while not improving Iz’s performances, at least don’t kill them. “Henehene Kou Aka,” for example, is given a perky “I Dream of Jeannie”-style treatment that’s relatively unobtrusive.

Mind you, I’m not intrinsically opposed to remix projects—what about a Rick-Rubin-style reimagining of Iz’s work that strips his recordings down to their essence? (The synth-y Jawaiian of “Hawaiian Sup’pa Man” pops to mind as a promising candidate for subtractive editing.)


Bottom line: Overcooked and unnecessary.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine January 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

Here’s How Hawai‘i Responded on Social Media to the False Ballistic Missile Alert

Ward Warehouse

A false alarm caused by human error sent the entire state of Hawai‘i into panic mode.

 

Twitter is Going Nuts Over Barack Obama’s Backward Hat and Rubbah Slippahs

Obama

Vacation mode: Activate.

 

6 Things You Need to Know About Rat Lungworm Disease Before You Eat a Salad

Rat lungworm disease

Everyone’s talking about the recent disease outbreak affecting the Islands. Find out what it is, where it comes from and how you can prevent it.

 

Here’s How to Survive a Possible North Korea Nuclear Strike in Hawai‘i

North Korea

What you need to do according to the Hawai‘i State Department of Defense.

 


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags