There are a few ways that The Bird and The Bee’s Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates record could have gone.
Like any tribute record, it could have been a disastrous mess of tired pop songs and elevator music but Inara George and Greg Kurstin (barely) manage to avoid the dreaded covers rut.
That said, it is a tribute. There’s very little deviation from the melodies, harmonies or phrasing of the originals but the approach works by shamelessly reminding the listeners of their favorite guilty pleasures with a little added sparkle from Inara’s vocals and a slightly modern twist from Greg’s multi-instrument and production abilities.
Among the eight covers (including “Rich Girl,” “Maneater” and “She’s Gone”) there’s one original: the opener “Heard It On The Radio” which serves as an introduction to the album with images of summer romance and turning the radio up to ten before plunging headfirst into 1981 when “I Can’t Go For That” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In the end, it’s the keyboards, electronics and bouncy vocals that make for the deliciously danceable sound we’d expect from either duo but here’s looking to the future for the next new disc from The Bird and the Bee.