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The Bird And The Bee

by Ami Kealoha in Culture on 30 March 2007

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Having won the favor of indie and dance music critics alike, I’m going to have to coin a new genre just for The Bird And The Bee. Ready? Retro-futurama-faux-bubblegum-pop. Like it? I do, like totally.

The Bird And The Bee’s self-titled debut sounds like Thom Yorke on massive doses of Prozac (and Progesterone) or maybe a Stereolab/Beach Boys collabo. Producer Greg Kurstin sprinkles happy bells, xylophones, triangles and spacious tambourines over Casiotonic drumbeats, warm (and sometimes fuzzy) analog-ish synth sounds and acoustic guitar strummings, weaving a magic wall-to-wall carpet under singer Inara George’s pure mellifluous vocals and intentional clichés.

The duo tempers their syrupy-sweet and contagious pop with lyrical ironies on songs like “F*cking Boyfriend” and “La La La.” And, despite their clean and pretty exterior, these songs are anything but unsophisticated. Jazz-inspired vocal arrangement, dub, motown, bossa nova, classical, crunk, new wave and jazz standards are only some of the ingredients in Kurstin and George’s ear-candy.

There aren’t any bad songs here and in general the choruses are the real payoff. “I’m A Broken Heart,” a lilting ballad told from the organ’s much neglected perspective, and “My Fair Lady,” a song about pining, are especially pleasing.

Out now on Blue Note/EMI Records, The Bird and The Bee's currently on tour with Lily Allen. Listen on their Amazon or iTunes.

by DJ Scribe

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