First a primer on the band named after a famous euphemism for sex: The Bird and The Bee is an indie-pop duo from Los Angeles comprised of one Inara George and Greg Kurstin known for their ear-pleasing use of sweet-sounding synths and their brand of 60s/70s sentimentality. [firstpara]
Interpreting the Masters Volume 1, the duo’s third album, is a tribute album for the renowned soul-pop pair, Hall and Oates.
In the album are eight of Hall and Oates’ greatest hits, including “One on One,” “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” and “Maneater.”
In making a tribute album, the natural tendency for an artist—and this is by no way an incorrect way of going about things—is to make his own imprint on the songs.
There is a struggle though: keep the classic elements that made a song worthy of being covered or add your own twists in an effort to set it apart from the original.
In Interpreting the Masters, The Bird and The Bee go for the former; they remain faithful to Hall and Oates. The songs retain their personalities, cadence and feel—the very characteristics that made them great in the first place.
The pair commits into a cover album that focuses less on the total reinvention of these songs, instead doing distinctly beautiful renditions of these classics.
In the album, The Bird and the Bee clearly show their deft grasp on pop and such, by doing justice to another music duo that were equally adept at crafting infectious pop hooks and melodies that embrace the ears. Rare are the instances that the cover versions are as good as the originals. While The Bird and The Bee have a tendency to be cloying—listen to their rendition of "Kiss on My List" in sucession and see if syrup will flow out of your ears—their Interpreting the Masters is one of those rare instances.
WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES