"My guess is that many of those with a newfound interest in Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's music were exposed to his "Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World" on the Mark Green death episode of ER. But whatever the reason, it's wonderful to see American listeners tuning in to the well-kept secret that is IZ...at long last. Yes, this is one of the best CDs you'll buy this year, and its crossover appeal will be a timeless, treasured addition to your music collection. But I want to say early in this review: this CD is not the one with which you should start your IZ collection. First, get your hands on "Facing Future" (which fortunately also contains "Rainbow/Wonderful World"). "Facing Future" is the most popular and best-selling Hawaiian music album of all time, and anyone who is even remotely interested in IZ will want to own it. Get it, you'll be glad you did. The haunting "Hawai'i 78" is the feature song of the album, and it's better even than "Over the Rainbow." Trust me on this."Alone in IZ World" is a well-done compilation by IZ's Mountain Apple record company. While the songs are familiar, there are very few cuts that have already appeared on previous IZ CDs, at least not in the form we get here. Besides "Over the Rainbow", there are plenty of other highlights. "In Dis Life" is a beautiful, meaningful love song. "Hi'ilawe" is the staple song made famous by Gabby Pahinui, the father of slack-key guitar...and IZ's version is simple, but lovely and touching. And "Starting All Over Again" is a particularly timely message to Americans in these troubling times.Having been blessed to live in Hawaii for three glorious years (IZ died the week of my arrival, in 1997) this music has a profound meaning for me and my family. I honestly believe, though, that ANYONE who listens to IZ's music will be able to feel the warm ocean breeze on your face; feel the white sand between your toes; and smell the intoxicating scent of plumeria blossoms. Discover or re-discover IZ, and let your mind relax and go on vacation to the Hawaiian islands...the most beautiful place in the world."
The legend The myth The man The haunting voice...Braddah IZ
mypetconcubine | Waianae, Hawaii U.S.A. | 06/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a hawaiian and hawaii born and bred islander, I am blessed by the fact that my parents brought me up with hawaiian music but most of all the late great Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole. The day that shocked hawaii I was out and about with my family when my father stoppped at a gas station as he came out of the gas station a newpaper in his hand and a heartbroken look on his face..." what's the matter daddy" he handed me the paper and i started to cry there it was "Braddah Iz passed away at the age of 38 in his sleep last night" I couldn't beileve it such a beautiful voice silenced he will never make another record.But just to have had Braddah Iz on this earth for just this short time to hear the music with and without the makaha sons of Niihau is truly magical..so his music lives on. I've read all these amazing reviews of Braddah IZ...I am happy and touched that so many people have been touched by his music. Unforunately i didn't know braddah iz but in a way all us hawaii born islanders always seem to truly know braddah Iz, his music touched us all. to understand how huge Braddah Iz was he is still mourned and celebrated in hawaii and his music is still played constantly on the radio.The day of his birth and passing is celebrated like a national holiday. When you listen to any of the LATE and GREAT Israel Kamakwiwo'Ole's cds..you will hear one the most beauitful voices god ever put on this earth. But when you look at this man ,this giant man with this amazing angel like voice you will be blown away. god gave this late singer the voice of angel. a voice that must have been blessed and touched by god himself and it was...the songs , music and lyrics will leave you speechless and breathless ..his voice and the way he delivers the songs with that teardrop in his vocal chord...will send chills up and down your spine..any of this mans cds is excellent and it is a must of anyone who wants to get a cd that reflects the spirit of islands this man , this legend was the spirit of hawaii, BRADDAH IS WAS AND STILL IS HAWAII. even thou IZ passed away some time ago his voice his music his legend still lives is the islands thru his voice and music.his voice alone will leave you with a tear in your eyes... buy any one of his cds..trust me it's worth it...also braddah iz was with a hawaiian group called Makaha sons of Niihau pick up those cs as well, and let the memory of Braddah IZ and his music live on for the future generations to hear and love"
Hauntingly Insightful & Beautiful
Jumpmaster | 07/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I happen to see a part of a documentary about IZ while sitting in a restaurant in Maui about six months ago. It never said if he as alive or if he had died. There was just this beautiful grace about him that was amazing. A couple of days later before getting ready to leave I was in a cheesy gift shop and this CD happen to be on the counter. I bought it out of curiosity. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised in a big way. The Maui radio stations played "Over the Rainbow" quite often, but I never heard who the artist was. The entire album is incredible and peaceful....with a little humor thrown in for good measure. His rendition of "Over the Rainbow" still brings me to tears, so to speak (in a good way).....kind of like...."What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. It was very fitting when they played in the last ER episode...a gentle peaceful passing with hope over the horizon. I think IZ got what this adventure called life is all about. If you want spend about 45 minutes in a world of Joy, Hope and Peacefulness..........Buy the album!!!"
Alone in IZ world
J.G. Merola | Syracuse, New York | 10/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My Mama is of Hawaiian descent and met my Dad while he was stationed in Hawaii during WWII. Growing up in the NorthEast did not allow me the exposure to Hawaiian music that I would have liked. We listened to my Mama's Hawaiian music on 78's, but we never understood the language. The melodies were often pretty, but we were clueless as to what was being said. (Remember--our language was taken away and the elders discouraged using the Hawaiian language.)I was growing tired of Hawaiian music always being stereotyped and associated with Don Ho. So, I hit the music stores and stumbled across "IZ" by accident. I listened to the whole CD (Face the Future) in the store and bought it immediately.Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (say that 3 times fast!) is an angel with a beautiful voice who should be honored and remembered by the Hawaiian natives.On his new CD, "Alone in IZ world", the song "Starting all over again" couldn't be more appropriate in light of the bombings at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Listen to it, absorb it, buy it. It's worth it!Mahaloaloha...J.G. Merola"
Moved and touched!!!!
roger e. golden | cuyahoga falls (akron) oh usa | 06/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i first came to hear of iz on a commercial for a childrens hospital here in my area of northeast ohio.my step-daughter had spent a considerable amount of time there and while showing scenes of various children all races,all types of defects,overcoming and smiling;there was this outstanding version of "somewhere over the rainbow" i cried while listening to this 60 second commercial!!!i called the hospital to see just who this was singing and they said iz blah blah blah.anyways,i found this cd,"alone in iz world" and heard the rest of the medley(what a wonderful world) along the with the other songs and still was crying!!! so sorry to hear of his passing and had it not been for my wife and my step-daughters' illnesses,i'd have found iz sooner.i find this cd so soothing as i deal with the stresses of caring for my wife and daughter. thank you IZ!!! and may you rest in the same peace that you have given me. A MUST HAVE FOR ANYONE WITH A HEART!!!!!
(looking forward to getting all of iz's catalog of music and video!)"