Ukulele Journey – Herb Ohta, Jr. CD Review

Title: Ukulele Journey
Artist: Herb Ohta, Jr.
Label: Lele Music Productions
Year: 2007

Tracks:

1. Sand Castles
2. It Might Be You
3. Kaleohano
4. Together
5. Tsunami
6. Waiting in Vain
7. Hawaiian Sky
8. Holo Wa’apa
9. Thousand Springs
10. Sunny Day
11. Nada Sou Sou
12. Ka Na’i Aupuni [bonus track]

Ukulele Journey is my first Herb Ohta, Jr. CD. It has 12 songs counting the bonus track, with a total play time of 49.3 minutes. This CD comes in a cardboard and plastic case.

I was a little confused as to how old this CD is as the date on the actual CD is 2007, but when I researched through iTunes, the released date was listed as 2003. Also, this CD doesn’t even show up in the discography on Herb’s site. But from what I can tell, it’s his latest solo recording. Let’s go through each song.

Sandcastles is an original song written by Herb. It has a smooth jazz kind of vibe, that is upbeat but relaxing. 

It Might Be You is the Stephen Bishop theme song from the 1982 Dustin Hoffman movie Tootsie. Herb’s instrumental cover of this song doesn’t stray from the original arrangement. It is actually one of my favorite songs on this CD.

Kaleohano is a mellow Hawaiian flavored song that includes just a sprinkling of vocals here and there. The song makes me very sleepy :)

Together is another Herb original. This one has a slight Latin feel in my opinion, and continues the mellow trend of the previous tunes.

Tsunami is a tune with a title that for me, doesn’t quite seem to fit it. A Tsunami is a violent storm. This song has a slow sad feel. Maybe it brings about a tsunami of tears…

Waiting in Vain is a cover of the Bob Marley and the Wailers tune that trades in the original heavy Reggae rhythm for one that is more diluted.    

Hawaiian Sky is a Herb original that has a very sweet Hawaiian melody that would be perfect for lying on the beach on a sunny day.

Holo Wa’apa is a fun fast paced tune that is a welcome change from the slower paced songs up until this point on the CD. It almost has a slight Country feel to it with what I think is a steel guitar.

Thousand Springs is another Herb original that takes us back to the soft mellow path. It makes you want to curl up and enjoy a nice afternoon snooze. 

Sunny Day is an upbeat happy tune written by Herb, that I really enjoy listening to. It has good energy that helps balance out the rest of the slower tunes. This one seems to have a slight Latin feel too.

Nada Sou Sou has a nice slow melody that almost feels like a lullaby. 

Ka Na’i Aupuni [bonus track] Traditional style Hawaiian song with vocals. 

I have enjoyed listening to this Ukulele Journey, but it is more in the easy listening vein than I typically like. There’s nothing wrong with easy listening of course, but I just wish that it had a few more upbeat tunes like Sunny Day and Holo Wa’apa. As is, it makes for great background music while working or napping :) I’ll have to seek out some of Herb’s older work to see if this is his overall style or a departure for him. If you’re looking for some mellow sweet ukulele music, this fits that criteria perfectly.

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