Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra: Be Mine Tonight (ukulele.co.nz)

 |   |  1 min read

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra: Slippin' Away
Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra: Be Mine Tonight (ukulele.co.nz)

Among the many problems I have with this -- and they start with the cheap looking cover and extend to the sheer obviousness of the project -- is how utterly joyless some of these versions of New Zealand songs sound.

Aaradhna's vibrant and uplifting Wake Up and the Swingers' once exciting Counting the Beat here sound barely able to rouse themselves from the hammock.

But maybe that's the key: instead of the annual influx of barbecue reggae maybe this equally lightweight and breezy album might be the singalong substitute.

It won't be an improvement though because most of this sounds worthy rather enjoyable, and okay, this a ukulele ensemble . . . but some thought might have been given to having the songs fronted by more expressive vocalists in most places.

I also get the oblique connection with the Australian band Sherbet's Howzat, but if you are going to do an album of "great Kiwi songs" there might surely have been another closer to home. You can accept their cover of Jon Stevens' Jezebel and Ray Columbus and the Invaders' Til We Kissed (rather nice) because even though they weren't originals we adopted them as our own in the absence of hearing the overseas originals. 

This strikes me as the kind of twee album we used to get in the Eighties which is much more interesting for its practitioners than it is for anyone else . . . although, counter-intuitively, they are alarmingly popular and National Radio will doubtless find plenty here to play in the afternoons.

I doubt I could find an excuse to play this again -- other than E Ipo and a straightahead but slightly aching Slippin' Away -- but I'm also prepared to concede it will be very popular out there in the very middle of Middle New Zealand. 

I guess I don't live there.

(Want a more interesting ukulele musician, then check this guy out) 

For details about the WIUO's upcoming national tour go here.

uku

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Simon Comber: Endearance (CNZ)

Simon Comber: Endearance (CNZ)

Halfway through this slowly engrossing New Zealand singer-songwriter's album is the gently penetrating song Please Elvis, which opens with the singer asking the King not to make his mother cry as... > Read more

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Wordsworth, more fool him, peaked early. The first edition of his groundbreaking Lyrical Ballads collection with fellow poet Coleridge was published in 1798 when he was 28. In the following decades... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GARBAGE; ONE MILE HIGH, a doco by ERICA FERRERO

GARBAGE; ONE MILE HIGH, a doco by ERICA FERRERO

The thing I remember most about interviewing Shirley Manson from Garbage is that I just don't remember much at all. I have recently been told it was probably in '97 and I know that it was in... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN DANIEL BOOBYER on being old school and making a vinyl record

GUEST MUSICIAN DANIEL BOOBYER on being old school and making a vinyl record

My new release Time Killed The Clock was sort of an unplanned birth. It mysteriously crept into existence with the first track of the same title being recorded on my trusty Pioneer cassette... > Read more