My Life – Jake Shimabukuro CD Review

Title: My Life
Artist: Jake Shimabukuro
Label: Hitchhike Records
Year: 2007

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1. Time After Time (3:06)
2. Going To California (4:05)
3. In My Life (3:30)
4. Somewhere Over the Rainbow (4:14)
5. Here, There and Everywhere (3:09)
6. Ice Cream (4:06)

My Life is Jake Shimabukuro’s latest instrumental CD. It’s actually an EP (Extended Play CD) as it has just 6 songs, with a total play time of 22 minutes and 10 seconds. This CD does not come in a plastic jewel case, but has a cardboard sleeve.

Time After Time is an easily recognizable cover of the Cyndi Lauper tune from her 1983 album titled She’s So Unusual. Jake’s version includes some percussion and his equally talented younger brother Bruce on guitar.

Going To California is a cover of the Led Zepplin tune from their 1971 album titled Led Zepplin IV. Jake has put his own flavor and arrangement into this song. I didn’t even recognize it until about halfway through. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a huge fan of Led Zepplin though. Regardless, this is a nice light tune that I enjoy listening to.

In My Life is one of two Beatles covers that Jake includes on this CD. In My Life is originally from the 1965 album titled Rubber Soul. In addition to Jake’s ukulele, he’s accompanied with a bass.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow is a song that ukulele enthusiasts should immediately recognize. It’s been covered by one of the great Hawaiian musician’s, the late Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. Jake’s version is more complex than the same song by Iz. While I can appreciate and enjoy Jake’s version, I prefer the more basic arrangement.

Here, There and Everywhere is the second Beatles tune included on this CD. It’s from their 1966 album titled Revolver. I really like this song and would love to learn to play it the way Jake has arranged it. It doesn’t ‘sound’ overly difficult. I’m sure I’m wrong though… 😉

Ice Cream is a cover of the Sarah McLachlan song from her 1999 album titled Mirrorball. I didn’t know this was her song until I looked it up for this review. It’s a very soothing, calm song.

With the exception of two songs (Time After Time and In My Life), the only instrument playing the music on this CD is Jake’s Kamaka uke. I’m just assuming that he’s playing the Kamaka as it is pictured on the back of the CD cover.

The whole CD has a slightly melancholy vibe to it in my opinion. It didn’t make me want to pull out a box of tissues, but it makes you want to sit quietly and just reflect on things as you listen to it.

Bottom line: I would buy this CD again.

If you would like to buy this CD or hear track samples, please visit the My Life – Jake Shimabukuro product page on

4 Responses to “My Life – Jake Shimabukuro CD Review”

  1. […] Ukulele Review put an intriguing blog post on My Life – Jake Shimabukuro CD Review […]

  2. Jake Shimabukuro has definitely changed the lives of every ‘ukulele player on the planet. His newest release, which is one of two new releases, My Life, has a couple of excellent renditions of cover songs, but nothing else that made me jump out of my seat. I do enjoy every album that Jake has released, and there are songs that have made me wonder how can he play that way. But, in order for him to keep his reign of “Best on the planet”, he needs to come out with another album like “Dragon”. Every song has a different feel to it, and it leaves you wanting to hear more from him.

  3. You say that Jake’s latest release is one of two? Is the other one My Guitar Gently Weeps? I have that one to review too along with all his others. I though I have purchased all but one CD that I have found so far on 🙂 I’m obsessed. Or maybe I’m possessed. 😉

    I really enjoyed My Life, but it does feel a little like it is too much in the easy listening vein. But there’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion… I am currently listening to James Hill’s A Flying Leap, which is on the other side of the spectrum.

  4. bernard hill…

    Thanks for the nice read, keep up the interesting posts…..

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