Don Ho

Greatest Hits!

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The "King of Hawaiian Entertainment," Don Ho, croons his way into lounge music history with this laid-back, crowd-pleasing set. Featuring his classic "Tiny Bubbles," and sounding a lot like another crown prince of croon, Dean Martin, Ho eases his way into our hearts with this mix of Hawaiian-influenced music and easy listening tunes. The only misstep is "Ain't No Big Thing," which attempts to rock but sounds forced and simply out of place. But when Ho sings about the Islands or romantic love, all is well. The set comes to life particularly on live cuts when there is participation from the crowd. Backed by his able band, the Aliis, Ho sounds great on the wistful love song "I'll Remember You" and on the singalong "E Lai Ka Lei Lei" (Beach Party Song). On other cuts such as "Beautiful Kauai" and "The Following Sea," percussion and soft choral backing provide the perfect background for Ho's exploration of the mellow side of Hawaii. Listening to this set that was originally released in the late '60s, it is easy to see how Ho has sustained his popularity over the years -- his laid-back voice and style seem to embody the essence of the Islands themselves.

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