Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hall & Oates Revisited

I'm not one to complete my music collection with "Greatest Hits" packages. There was such a flurry of them at the turn of the century. I've never been much of a Hall & Oates fan either. So then, what explains my purchase of The Bird and the Bee Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates?

First of all, I'm a sucker for tribute albums, especially if it's for an artist or group that's not a part of my music collection. Although if I never heard a Hall & Oates song again I'd be fine, I was still interested in how they'd be interpreted by a modern sensibility. Plus there's the fact that it promised to be good ol' pop music fun. I know that's something I can always use on my CD platter, since I list towards the serious.

The Bird and the Bee are Greg Kurstin and Inara George. She is the daughter of Lowell George, the late great lead songwriter and player in Little Feat. Inara's sensibility is a little off-center: her first release was a collaboration with the go-to eccentric Van Dyke Parks and her subsequent release to the Hall & Oates tribute was a Lennon-Sisters style collection called The Living Sisters. So I bought the CD figuring I was in store for something completely different.

Except that it's not, save for the electronica/synth-flavored overlay on the songs. I must admit that I'm grateful that the Bird and the Bee don't go far afield. I don't mind hearing these songs again as long as they're done by someone else. So instead I hear Inara's pleasant voice (it will put you in mind of Jonatha Brooke) delivering those paper-thin lyrics. My wife and I sing along when it's playing in our car.

The funny thing is, Lisa would prefer to hear Hall & Oates singing. Anyway, I'd recommend this CD to you if you're in the mood for light-hearted fun.

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