The Bird & The Bee’s new album Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates will be released by Blue Note Records on March 23rd. The Bird & The Bee are singer Inara George and multi-instrumentalist/producer Greg Kurstin. Their tribute to 1980s pop icons Hall & Oates is no parody, instead this is a sincere and happy homage to one of my favorite guilty pleasure bands.
The opener “Heard It On The Radio” is the sole original on the album. Considering the concept, I think the song should have been placed at the end of the album. Regardless, the airy pop tune does go very well with the covers.
The selection of Hall & Oates covers includes pop hits like “I Can’t Go For That,” “Kiss On My List,” and “Maneater” (feat. Garbage’s Shirley Manson on backing vocals), but it’s the inclusion of “Rich Girl,” “Sara Smile,” and “She’s Gone” that proves the band’s songwriting talents were worthy of tribute.
“Sara Smile” has always been my personal favorite Hall & Oates song, and The Bird & The Bee do a superb job of capturing the sultry jazz tone of the original. And the clap happy true-to-original take of “Private Eyes” reminds me why the song was such a big radio hit in the ’80s.
As I said in my review of last year’s Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future, Inara George “possesses a lovely, effervescent voice that melts beautifully into the lightest of melodies.” While these are genuine odes to Hall & Oates, most of the songs have been reworked in The Bird & The Bee’s signature electro-pop style.
The Bird & The Bee’s Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates is the perfect soundtrack for summer. I only hope that The Bird & The Bee will record a tribute to Olivia Newton-John for Interpreting The Masters Volume 2.
I was not granted permission to share an mp3, but you’ll be able to hear samples at the links below closer to the release date…
Buy @ Amazon
The Bird & The Bee Official Site
The Bird & The Bee MySpace