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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

23 of 1001 Songs: Sol Hoopie's Hula Girl

Hula music has a distinct popular sound, and perhaps one of the most famous artists involved with that sound is Sol Ho'opi'i. His talents can be heard most notably on Hula Girl. A song where the instrumentals can almost outshine the vocals, but since the vocalist knows how to pace their voicing with the instruments it makes for a song that has a fun sound, and makes it one of the lighter toned songs I've heard.

History: Sol Ho'opi'i is one of the best steel guitarist there was. Though it is questioned, Ho'opi'i has been given the notoriety of inventing the electric steel guitar. If that's true, then I have to say that is pretty huge. He would also inspire many sounds from his own sounds. His mix of jazz and blues regarding Hawaiian standards would make him legendary. There are also many references to the man in popular culture even to this day.


Vocals: Ho'opi'i's vocals I believe are contributed on this song. I was trying to figure out if he was apart of a group, but since the main attraction as the guitar it was just titled after him, or what. I assume he is the one singing though. His vocals do have a catchy rhythm, and they flow well with the fast paced rhythm of the tune. Ho'opi'i sounds excited to be singing and performing. The vocals though don't out shine the instrumentals though, and overall they ground the song back in that 30's vibe you get from the tune.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals are very good. They have a quick tempo, and the movement and flow is just well captured. You won't find much music that is as lively as this. I might find it to be a fun song though, but I also don't imagine listening to it in my day to day life. One thing I did learn though was how hugely I underestimated the impact this music had on the rest of music. I don't know about others, but whenever I hear music in this genre I only associate with Hula girls, and the song is appropriately titled to give us that image. The guitar and the ukulele are offering a lot to the song though that takes a lot of talent.

Lyrics: The lyrics are a huge relief after all the serious lyrics lately. I have loved a lot of the songs, even Dog Days are Over from Florence and the Machine, but even thought those type of lyrics are lighter they are still grappling with the darker issues we are trying to overcome, but channeling it into hope. With Hula Girl though the song is just all about fun. The song also uses some rhyming that utilizes the lyrical rhythm to be timed with the instrumentals and projection of the vocals. It sets an atmosphere that is fun and a bit romantic.

I can't say I'm going to find many occasions to go back and listen to Hula Girl again, but it is a hugely fun song that show cases the best from Hawaii. Plus, the talent on the steel guitar is great, and it's mixed with other instrumentals that keep with the culture of the sound. The song is very well arranged, and the care is taken to making sure every element plays well together. Perhaps I should just listen to this music more for a better mood?

Rating 7 of 10.


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