This one had to happen, right? I mean come on, the theme this month is all about showcasing albums about places, and very few records fit that description as perfectly as The King’s 1961 soundtrack album made for the film of the same name, which I will not mention again. The second most successful soundtrack album of the 1960’s behind only the great soundtrack to West Side Story, Elvis shows us once again why he should’ve spent more time making music and less time making movies.
Blue Hawaii is the most thematically coherent and unified work Elvis ever released, save maybe his Christmas records. Staying true to form, just about every song comprising the 32 minute runtime of this record is about Hawaii, falling in love with someone on Hawaii, or at the very least has that particular Hawaiian twang to it. Elvis, being one of the all time great Rock and Roll vocalists, has some outstanding vocals. He’s upbeat and fun, slow and romantic, funny, energetic, and captures just about all you could ask for about the island of Hawaii without getting too serious. Granted, he didn’t actually write any of the songs so I can’t give him too much credit, but I’m still going to commit hard and commit early to my belief that this album isn’t nearly as good if anybody else is singing lead vocals. Elvis’s singing voice wins the album.
I’ll be honest, I don’t actually have a lot to say about this album. It gives us one of Elvis’s finest songs in “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and is all around just an iconic record, but there isn’t a whole lot to take away from it other than a remarkably pleasant half hour of music that takes you to Hawaii to relax. This record’s brevity plays to its strength seeing as how the music would probably get old after 10-15 more minutes than what are on the album. It’s short and sweet, very easy to listen to, a good introduction to Elvis for the uninitiated, and is all around just a good listen. Not Elvis’s greatest work, not the finest album we’ll listen to this week, but a worthy stop along the way before we turn the plane around and head out east for a couple days.
I hope you all enjoy the King of Rock’s Hawaiian record, Blue Hawaii.
Taking a Moonlight Swim to tomorrow’s record, this is Benny the Jet saying “aloha”.