Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the Bird and the Bee and Daryl and John

Having grown up in the 80's, I'll unapologetically admit to my love of the pop duo Hall & Oates. Long time readers will remember me admitting to that when I wrote about the four disc box set retrospective Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates back in October of last year. So as you might imagine, when I first heard about Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates, the latest album from the more current duo of The Bird and the Bee (Inara George and Greg Kurstin), my excitement was over the moon.

As I've admitted to loving Hall & Oates, so too have I written about The Bird and the Bee many times over the last few years. Over the course of their two LPs and two (?) EPs, my listening enjoyment has not diminished. And when I saw that they had referred to H & O as "Masters," my appreciation of them only deepened!

Their newest album features nine tracks: one original and eight covers of classic H & O hits. Heard It On The Radio, the album's one B & B original, opens the album, and does so quite admirably. On it, George sings about songs she hears on the radio that take her back in time to recollect memories and connections that those songs hold for her. While listening, it's easy to imagine George genuinely holding these feelings while listening to some of the original versions of the songs that she is about to sing.

Starting with track number two we go through a parade of 80's staples, songs that anyone who listening to the radio in the 80's is familiar with: I Can't Go For That (a personal favorite), Rich Girl, Sarah Smile, Kiss On My List, Maneater, She's Gone, Private Eyes, and One on One. While anyone can reel off covers, what makes this album so enjoyable is that while paying sincere homage to 80's songs (a task that is usually accompanied by hokiness and a sarcastic wink of the eye) B & B manage to keep the souls of the originals alive while injecting their own musical style into the whole thing.

Anyway, if you enjoy either or both of these duos, this is an album that you NEED to check out!

Visit their website, their label Blue Note Records, and become their friend on MySpace.

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