Usually, the thought of a Cameron Crowe film makes me uncomfortable; while “Singles” and “Almost Famous” have their moments, his movies tend to veer uncontrollably towards saccharine-sweetly sickening to the point of my teeth hurting.  It isn’t anything personal against him – I’ve never met the man – but I just don’t care for “cutesy” movies.

So it was with some trepidation that I received the soundtrack, Songs Of Aloha, from his new film, “Aloha”.  I haven’t seen the movie – I have no intention or desire of doing so.  But a soundtrack can be an altogether different affair and in this case, that would be the winning element.  Starting with several tracks of traditional Polynesian/native Hawaiian music, it has an instant charm and frankly, I found the sounds immensely soothing – especially the opening cut, complete with “surface noise”, “Hanohano Hanalei” by Alfred K. Alohikea.

Of the “soundtrack” items, David Crosby’s “Kids And Dogs” almost reminded me at the beginning of his 1967 “Mind Gardens”, albeit not as psychedelic and winding up a CSN&Y-type of harmony exercise; Fleetwood Mac’s “I Know I’m Not Wrong” is a nice touch from the misunderstood Tusk lp and Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” is something I can picture in this movie, somewhere…  Most interesting and inspired is The Tallest Man On Earth, who I saw years ago as the opening act for the loathsome Bon Iver (sorry, folks – I can’t stand them and their mope-sludge) and thought was amazing – he’s a cross between Bob Dylan and Lloyd Cole, albeit from Sweden.

Included are tracks from Beck, Kurt Vile (thumbs up) and The Blue Nile (there’s a blast from the past); all in all, a very interesting threading together of music.  So I have to say, job well done.


Songs Of Aloha is available now

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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