While the UOGB are a visually entertaining band as well as an incredibly musically talented one, and there is nothing to beat a live performance, a CD of theirs is just about as good as having these fantastic performers in your living room. Happiness in a box!
Like one or two other reviewers of this CD, I am sorry to have to admit that I really struggled to like this album enough to even play it to the end. It certainly starts off encouragingly enough, with the 'Miss Dy-Na-Mi-Tee' single, and it is easy to see why this track in particular was chosen for a single release. Unfortunately for me, it goes downhill fast from here on in. One or two people have written reviews saying how 'brilliant' this group are live, and this may well be true. But the review in question is supposed to be about this album in particular, not their live show, and I'm afraid that listening to this CD, and evaluating this set in isolation gets no more than a lukewarm reception not only from from myself but also my Mother, who absolutely loves ukulele and banjo music, but who has also struggled to enjoy much more than 'Only You'. Again, as a previous reviewer rightly claims, there is no question on the ability of this fine group of musicians, for me I'm afraid it is just down to the songs chosen, and their arrangements. On first playing, you are immediately hit between the eyes with what appears to be clever choices of songs and the arrangements of same. Unfortunately, this initial reaction (for me, at least) quickly turned to irritation, to the point that I can't actually bring myself to play more than the opening track before reaching for the eject button. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for novelty songs and quirky unusual arrangements, but for me they must have a little something more to give them extra longevity to make me want to play them more than just the once. One reviewer also states that he has heard them perform 'Wuthering Heights', but sadly can't find a recording of it. This may well be true, but I'm wondering if he has perhaps confused the UOOGB with The Puppini Sisters. Now this is a fine group of ladies that have taken some classic tracks from many different decades, and given their chosen songs a swift kick up the rear with some dazzling arrangements, stunning musicianship and recordings which are just first class. I can already feel those 'unhelpful' votes coming in, but for me, the Puppini Sisters breathe new life into their choices of music, whereas the Ukulele Orchestra are just doing a 'mash-up'. Don't just take my word for it, read some reviews of 'Betcha Bottom Dollar' here on Amazon. Finally, I would be interested to hear how frequently these current Ukulele Orchestra 'rave reviewers' are playing their copies three months after buying it. My guess is, many will be gathering dust on their shelves after the inital novelty has worn off.....
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I recently saw them on the TV doing some covers -a search on You tube also shows some great stuff. The CD however is a bit lame -not enough ukulele work and too much 3rd rate X-Factor singing. They should stick to what there best at -playing instruments. Also the songs on the album will not appeal to anyone with more modern taste. I`m trying to like it, but will probably end up at the car boot sale for £1. Sorry
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