There is one instrument that dips in and out of vogue repeatedly, each time charming us with its happy-go-lucky sound and inimitable beguiling four string quality. That instrument is not only a stylistic choice but one eponymous with this band – that instrument being the ukulele.
The Ukuleles have taken contemporary classics and ever so slightly changed arrangement which admittedly does at times change the overall feel of the songs. Highlights of this dynamic include the cover of Adele’s hit Rolling in the Deep and Cee Lo Green’s Forget You, both featured at the beginning of the album, instantly telling you what this album is about.
The male/female vocals complement each other and are elegantly flipped to allow both voices to shine. I do however, get the impression though that the strength of the album lies in the musicianship and the quirkiness of instrumentation on the tracks rather than the vocal ability, which, at times , doesn’t necessarily fit the song choice. For example the vocals on the cover of Call Me Maybe are substantially stronger than those on Forget You – ergo it is undeniable that for this band, song choice is everything.
On the topic of song choice, The Ukuleles have been very shrewd with what they have included on the album. The mix bag of well-known tracks including Ed Sheeran’s The A Team and Jessie J’s Price Tag are made distinctly their own. Whilst you do not get a straightforward cover version The Ukuleles also do not stray too far from the original composition and as a result, they do not grotesquely distort them and definitely do not make them unrecognisable. They are attuned to the fact that part of the enjoyment of listening to cover versions is the listeners’ ability to recognise the song and this is what makes the album so likeable.
This is not the sort of album that will change your world but if you let it work is magic it might just change your day.