Friday, March 26, 2010

Review: The Bird and the Bee, Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates

The Bird and the Bee
Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates

The Bird and the Bee is a band after my own heart—anyone who endeavors to cover the venerable 80s pop icons Daryl Hall and John Oates deserves some serious laud. I was a little worried that without the novelty of mullets and Blue Magnum-worthy iconography to accompany the tunes, Hall and Oates’s music would lose some of its magic. Fortunately, however, The Bird and the Bee’s rendition not only does justice to the “Masters,” but cements Hall and Oates’s (sometimes questioned) merit as musicians.

Inara George and Greg Kurstin (Bird and Bee, respectively), translate hits like “Private Eyes” and “Kiss On My List into their own indie/synth style, adding a level of depth and sophistication to the originals. A couple of the weaker songs, “One On Oneand “Sarah Smiles,” for example, don’t work quite as well, but that more reflects the integrity of Hall and Oates’s original songs than a failure on the part of George and Kurstin. The best tracks on the album introduce a fresh sound that sometimes even surpasses the originals.

The combination of George’s sweet lyrical touch and Kurstin’s reworking of the original, very recognizable, material into more contemporary beats creates unique, modern versions of some truly classic songs. Thanks Bird and Bee, I can definitely go for that.

Especially recommended tracks: “I Can’t Go For That,” “Maneater

-Emma Forster
Host: Regional Rotations, Wednesdays 2-4 on WGTB

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