Island Mele: Mike Izon, Tom Conway

Nov. 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

REVIEWS BY JOHN BERGER / jberger@staradvertiser.com

‘Book of Cliches’

Mike Izon (Yafuso Productions)

Title notwithstanding, singer/songwriter Mike Izon doesn’t use many cliches. His love songs have the sincere and spontaneous feel of youth, and they’re appealing even when he uses stock phrases or ignores the fundamentals of rhyme and meter.

“Hands were made to hold, so hold mine” is how he starts “You Were Made For Me.” It’s love song for romantics of all ages, and the acoustic reggae-rhythm arrangement makes it perfect for play on Hawaii’s self-styled “island music” radio stations.

On another song Izon compares his lover to “ice cream cake.” He confesses in a third that “I get so nervous around you my words start to stumble” — another experience folks of all ages can relate to.

Izon closes the album with “Dinosaurs,” a beautiful change-of-pace number that’s worthy of national play (“Nowadays all people sing about is ‘I love you’…so let me sing about something I love more. They go by the name of dinosaurs”). It’s cute and whimsical and memorable.

Songs from “Book of Cliches” are available as downloads at iTunes, Google Music and Amazon.com. Copies of the limited edition hard-copy CD are available at Izon’s gigs.

‘Hold On Tight’

Tom Conway (Tom Conway Music)

Singer/guitarist Tom Conway is a Maui resident whose resume includes work in several genres.

He presents himself here as a straight traditional rocker who plays bass as well as guitar; drummer Greg Marsh provides the other half of the hard-hitting rhythm section.

The title song establishes Conway’s credentials as a Hoku Award-worthy rocker. He steps into politics with “Sandbox Soldier” and a clear-eyed commentary on the economic interests that drive American foreign policy. “That’s The Hooch Talkin’” describes in humorous terms the dangers of socializing while under the influence of alcohol.

“Hold On Tight” is available at www.tomconwayguitar.com.
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John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for more than 40 years. Contact him via email at jberger@staradvertiser.com.

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