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Wonderful World


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Audio CD, June 26, 2007
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$12.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 12 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Wonderful World + Facing Future + Somewhere Over the Rainbow: The Best of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Price for all three: $43.53

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Israel, or "Iz," as he is known to his fans, was Hawaii's most popular singer until his death in 1997. His version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is still in demand. This album features his intimate vocals with a full orchestra.

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Even a decade after his death at age 38 in 1997, Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole remains Hawaii's best-known and most beloved singer. His career began when he and his older brother, Skippy, formed a group in their hometown near Honolulu. The two performed together until the latter died in 1982. The band continued on for some years but it was Iz's haunting voice, with its searing yet limpid falsetto, that captured the popular imagination. Indeed, his 'ukulele-laced version of "Over the Rainbow" is widely thought to be the only interpretation that could possibly stand up to Judy Garland's original. Now that the definitive retrospective, Alone in IZ World (2001), has been released, it is perhaps inevitable that new arrangements should be slipped in under Iz's inimitable, indelible vocal tracks. The good news is, however, that these particular lush orchestrations, while totally superfluous, are nonetheless respectful and in good taste, never overwhelming the singing (as if anything could!). There are no revelations, but, fortunately, no unpleasant shocks, either. Perhaps, had he lived, Iz might have decided to go this route anyway. As with Louis Armstrong's (the title of this album refers to Iz's own cover of "What A Wonderful World") and Buddy Holly's string-backed experiments, it's simply yet another way to celebrate the legacy of a departed genius. --Christina Roden

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Wonderful World 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. `Ama `Ama 2:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Henehene Kou `Aka 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Morning Dew 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. White Sandy Beach 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Kaleohano 3:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Ka Huila Wai 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. `Opae E 4:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. I Ke Alo O Iesu 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. `Ulili E 2:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. A Hawaiian Like Me 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 26, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mountain Apple Company HAWAII & Big Boy Record Company
  • ASIN: B000P1YM2G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,314 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 75 people found the following review helpful By David C. Bullard on June 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If you are a fan of IZ, as I am, I don't recommend this CD. The syrupy orchestral arrangements here take his simple, beautiful music and turn it into something that is not IZ. I am just speaking for myself but I could not get through this CD. It made me feel sad which is something his music never does.

PS: This wonderful promo video has nothing to do with the music on this CD.
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65 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Richard Byers on July 23, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Why ANYONE would feel the need to "remake" or add to the music of IZ is way beyond me (other than the obvious - $$$$). Skip this one and pick up any one of his previous albums - Trust me, they're all you'll ever need!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By oilbag on July 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I just finished listening to the complete CD and did not notice it had ended. Over produced is one term that comes to mind. Orchestrated in bizarre parts throughout. The reviewer who called it "The Little Mermaid" type of music was correct. It just doesn't sound right. The simplicity of Iz and a ukulele on a white sandy beach was tied to the Disneyland Monorail and Goofy was the pilot. A disaster on the scale of Ishtar. Sometimes, shoes are not required.

Iz is beautiful, but nothing new here. Don't waste your money. The two stars are for Iz, otherwise zero stars.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By K. Rutter on September 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The amazing thing is that Iz survives the cheezy obviously-computer-generated orchestrations dubbed incongruously onto his music. It adds nothing, yet is unable to destroy the soul of the music. That is almost a reason to buy the CD, just to witness this, but then the producer would get money, which he should not get. Like the first time I heard the White Album as elevator muzak, this is a truely distressing CD. And yet, unlike John, Paul, George, and Ringo, Israel Kamakawiwo`ole survives the humiliating debasement of his music. With all of your might, do not buy this CD. Instead get Facing Future if you are new to his music. Facing Future
Kurt
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By fatu hia on June 29, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is pure Muzak and is Brother Iz's classic songs re-released terribly as bad elevator music.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on September 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I love Iz's music - if you do too - skip this CD. The orchestral arrangements are formulaic, weak and hokey. I was hoping there would be some innovative takes on the music - but it left a lot to be desired.
If you like Yanni, John Tesh, or Muzak - by all means get this one.

Otherwise - stick to the original cuts of these songs.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ahuihou on July 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I was anxious to purchase this CD, after reading about the technology, etc., used to produce this CD. I like the overall quality of the product, but did not appreciate the fact that the "Ahi wela" verse was left out of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!", the verse that all of us keiki Hawaiians heard from our mothers, and memorized as soon as we could sing. Also, leaving "Somewhere over the rainbow" out of "Wonderful World" in my opinion was a huge mistake. But I have the original versions of these songs, so I feel ok about the final product, notwithstanding the comments mentioned above.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Perry on July 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I am kind of a total fan of Iz, I have pictures of him, t shirts, bone hook necklaces, and I have every CD, plus all the Sons of N, so I know the songs by heart..... and that is what is missing with all this smooth orchestra varnish. Heart. I think the reason so many of us are so deeply connected with his music is that it showed his heart and spirit, even in the silly songs. So I bought this, and listened to it once, but I just can't stand it. It's like they dipped it in plastic. It's like twisting the truth. I can see why people would like it if they had never heard the others, because you can still hear his voice over all the orchestra traffic, but I hope that you 5 star reviewers try listening to the originals.
Sigh. I wish that there were more of his recordings, but I guess this shows that they have scraped the bottom of the barrel.
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