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Wonderful World

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Album Review

With the passing of Iz in 1997, Hawaii lost a major star and musical ambassador. There have been a few albums since his death, including a fine retrospective, also on Mountain Apple. On this album, Jon de Mello, whose father, Jack, was one of the key players (if not the key player) in Hawaiian exotica and string arrangements in the late '50s and early '60s, overlays some of Iz's lighter fare with lush string arrangements. The key here is the soft and smooth nature of his vocals — they're gorgeous, and always have been. The songs, however, probably don't need the string arrangements in order to help transfer them to a new audience, as much of the exotica movement did in the past. De Mello does an admirable job of keeping the strings in the background, allowing Iz's vocals to remain the true star of the album, but they're ultimately just not needed — Iz's music stood on its own just fine. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the end result; it's simply redundant with the catalog of existing Iz material. True fans of Iz may find it worthwhile to pick up as part of the collection, but newcomers to his music are likely better served with some of his other albums — E Ala E and N Dis Life in particular will show a fair amount of his range.

Customer Reviews

Excellent Work

I bought this to complete the collection but I was hardly looking forward to hearing the traditional and familiar sounds of IZ accompanied by an orchestra as the album was billed. Then I listened. This is fantastic. The lyrics and uke are crystal clear, and the accompaniments fit each song wonderfully. This is not only a testament to the great talent, hard work, and timeless nature of the big guy, but it speaks volumes to the production capabilities of Mr. De Mello and the folks at Mountain Apple. IZ' music has gotten longer legs. Mahalo.

Eo Israel Kamawiwaole!

Aloha and Mahalo to John Demello and Mountain Apple Records for helping the aloha and the music of this wonderful man live on for all of us to enjoy and appreciate. This album is beautifully produced and a true masterpiece! Israel, his music and his mana will continue to be very precious and cherished gifts of Aloha to Hawaiian people everywhere and the people of Hawaii.

Proud 2 B HawaiiaN

Contemporary meets Hawaiian Music makes Bruddah IZ music more inspiring than ever. The rendition of IZ's music brings me back home everytime I listen to his music. Even though I'm living on the Mainland-in So Cal, as a kama'aina Hawaii will always be my home. Bruddah IZ brings the true meaning of Aloha and brings the Hawaiian culture, the people, and his music together. Mahalo to Jon de Mello, Marlene Kamakawiwo'ole and Da' Ohana, and The Mountain Apple Company for keeping Bruddah IZ music last forever in our hearts. Hawaii No ka'oi


Born: May 20, 1959 in Honolulu, HI

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

The most popular entertainer in Hawaii until his tragic death in 1997, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole formed the traditional Makaha Sons as a teenager in the mid-'70s, went out on his own in more of a contemporary style by the 1990s, and released four immensely popular recordings before passing away just after the release of 1996's N Dis Life. Born in the Honolulu suburb of Kaimuki, Kamakawiwo'ole later moved to nearby Makaha. In allegiance to his new home, Israel formed the Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau with brother...
Full Bio
Wonderful World, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: Jun 26, 2007

Customer Ratings