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Jake Shimabukuro demonstrates what can be done with the ukulele
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2011
Music Review – Peace, Love, Ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro
Peace Love Ukulele
Banish any thoughts of window cleaning: Jake Shimabukuro may play the ukulele, but it’s nothing like the diminutive guitar-a-like’s other famed strummer, George Formby (though he, of course, used a banjolele for The Window Cleaner).
The virtuoso Hawaii-born Shimabukuro, who has performed with Bette Midler for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, takes his ukulele far more seriously and, thanks to the likes of Jason Mraz and last year’s Hey, Soul Sister by Train, it seems the rest of the world does now, too.
In fact, 2010 seemed to be the year of the uke, with the instrument found in (almost) all corners of the entertainment world, from Glee to Taylor Swift. With Peace Love Ukulele, Shimabukuro uses his outrageously fiddly finger skills to take his ukulele on a genre-crossing journey from the fast-paced twiddle-fest of Bring Your Adz to the slushy lounge of Boy Meets Girl. And the second you’re sitting back under mood lighting with a mocktail, you’re hit with Go for Broke, a slow, dreary piece that could easily soundtrack a miserablist First World War flick.
Yet it’s hard not to appreciate his Bohemian Rhapsody, in which he spectacularly fuses the full range of vocal and instrumental parts into one ukulele piece without a hint of irony. You’ll sing along. It’ll sound strange, but you will.