I’ve long been a big fan of writer/director Cameron Crowe. From “Say Anything…,” “Singles” and “Jerry Maguire” to “Almost Famous,” “Elizabethtown” and “We Bought a Zoo,” I enjoy Crowe’s movies a lot. The one exception is “Vanilla Sky,” which I found to be pretty much a mess, but six out of seven ain’t bad. And I have high hopes for latest effort “Aloha,” which hits theaters this week and stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray.
Crowe has been almost as successful with the soundtracks albums for his films and the “Aloha” platter hit stores a few days in advance of the film in hopes of whetting the appetite. It’s an interesting record, but not the kind of home run I’ve come to expect from Crowe.
The first part of the 19-track, 80-minute slab is populated with Hawaiian music, highlighted by “Hanohano Hanalei” (Alfred K. Alohikea), “Alika” (Genoa Keawe) and “Ipo Lei Manu” (Cyril Pahinui). The rest is decidedly eclectic mix of artists, including songs by David Crosby (“Kids and Dogs”), Fleetwood Mac (“I Know I’m Not Wrong”), Kurt Vile (“Take My Advice”), The Tallest Man on Earth (“A Field of Birds”), Evening Hymns (“You and Jake”), Josh Ritter (“Come and Find Me”) and Beck (“Heart Is a Drum”). Give Crowe credit for not using the ukulele version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a cool tune that’s been way overused. (Jeffrey Sisk)