CD Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates (CD 6300464),
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Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates

  • 1. Heard It On The Radio
    2. I Can't Go For That
    3. Rich Girl
    4. Sara Smile
    5. Kiss On My List
    6. Maneater
    7. She's Gone
    8. Private Eyes
    9. One On One
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 6262342

  • Credits
    ProducerGreg Kurstin
    EngineerGreg Kurstin

    Personnel: Inara George (vocals); Greg Kurstin (keyboards, drums, programming).
    Audio Mixer: Greg Kurstin.
    Recording information: Echo Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
    The very title of Interpreting the Masters suggests that the Bird & the Bee are digging into a catalog of a widely respected pop songwriter -- a Burt Bacharach, perhaps, or a Jimmy Webb. That's not the case: children of the `80s that they are, singer Inara George and producer Greg Kurstin have chosen Daryl Hall & John Oates for the first volume of Interpreting the Masters, a sly move that reveals both their age and intended audience -- i.e., ex alt-rockers raised on new wave and now settling into a tasteful, hipster middle age, hauling around kids dressed in Ramones t-shirts -- and a reflection of Hall & Oates' increasing reputation as soul-pop songwriters and record-makers. The Bird & the Bee don't dig deeply into Hall & Oates catalog -- there's none of the burnished folk-rock of Whole Oates, nor do they pluck album tracks like "Looking for a Good Sign" off of Private Eyes -- they simply choose the biggest hits, then give them a slyly modern update, one that consciously recalls the modernist new wave productions of the duo's biggest hits yet fits within the Bird & the Bee's nicely tailored AAA pop. So if Interpreting the Masters, on the surface, provides no surprises, why is it such a wonderful surprise as a whole? Perhaps it's because the Bird & the Bee manage to make these very familiar hits sound fresh without radically reinventing them. That in itself is a much trickier move than turning these all into slow acoustic dirges, but it's better still because these arrangements are true to both Hall & Oates and George & Kurstin. The Bird & the Bee illustrate just how much they've learned with their introductory original "Heard It on the Radio," a song about the tunes they're about to sing that holds its own with the covers, but the heart of the album lies in these covers of `80s staples: they shift the spotlight just enough to prove how good both the original song and singles are, and by never drawing attention to their own performance and arrangements, the Bird & the Bee prove just how good they are too. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • Critic Reviews
    Entertainment Weekly (p.69) - "[I]t's wink-free pop bliss....Inara George's intimate voice makes this almost sound like an 'unplugged'-style revelation." -- Grade: B+
    Billboard (p.32) - "[T]he sprightly Bird & the Bee original that opens the set 'Heard It on the Radio,' expresses the group's love for FM radio as it pays homage to Hall & Oates."
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Where this really shines is on the late-night, blue-eyed soul....It all slides down nicely..."
    Paste (magazine) (p.75) - "This record is the aural VIP room where the musical genius of The Bird and the Bee hang out with the lounge lizards and create a cool new cocktail."
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