Paradise, Hawaiian Style

Elvis Presley

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Paradise, Hawaiian Style Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

With his career in free fall, Elvis Presley returns to Hawaii, the site of one of his biggest successes: 1961's Blue Hawaii. Released five long years later, Paradise, Hawaiian Style is a faint shadow of that previous success, containing little of its charm and certainly none of its craftsmanship. The familiar team of Bill Giant, Bernie Baum, and Florence Kaye cranks out six of the album's ten songs, taking credit for such aggressive inanities as "Queenie Wahine's Papaya" and "Stop Where You Are," tunes that still manage not to be among the worst cuts here. That honor belongs to the singalong "Datin'," which explains romance in a fashion only a five-year-old could understand, and "A Dog's Life," a canine rock & roller that's a far cry from "Hound Dog." When paired with campy island exotica -- the title track, "Drums of the Islands," "House of Sand" -- it adds up to a nadir for Elvis: this isn't as clamorous as Frankie & Johnny, but it's certainly every bit as calamitous.

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