[sic] Magazine

The Bird and the Bee: Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1:

The Bird and the Bee (aka Greg Kurstin and Inara George) is one of the few bands in existence who can cover a great song and make it their own.

So it was pretty much inevitable that someday they’d put out a covers album — in this case, ‘Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates.’ It’s pretty much what you’d expect after their past covers: a string of Hall and Oates ‘ hit songs, which have metamorphosed into sensual, delicate electronic pop with angelic vocals.

Well, it goes without saying that the songwriting is excellent. Each Hall & Oates song that Kurstin and George selected seems to have a different kind of romantic relationship in it: love-that-wasn’t, a lover who craves too much, love for a ‘Rich Girl,’ a hot-and-cold romance, a lovelorn request for a smile, and even an ode to a ‘lean and hungry’ ‘Maneater.’ Lots of complex, bittersweet feelings.

And it kicks off with the funky, twittery sounds of ‘Heard it on the Radio,’ with George singing sweetly, “When we first met/It wasn’t what you said/And still I loved you like mad… Now every time/I hear it playing/I think of you/And those summer days.”

From there on, the band bounces merrily into the sprightly ‘Rich Girl,’ the sharp-edged ‘I Can’t Go For That,’ the slow sensual ‘Sarah Smile,’ the flowing electropop of ‘Kiss on my List,’ the shimmering ‘She’s Gone,’ and the delicate finale ‘One on One.’ They even get into the clubbier stuff with the sexually-charged, beat-heavy ‘Maneater.’

Don’t worry, the songs have the same infectious, fun melodies as the original Hall & Oates versions… more or less. Greg Kurstin just does to them what he does to any song that The Bird and the Bee covers — he spins a delicate web of shimmering keyboard over every song, and backs it up with some squidgy guitars, drums, xylophone, organ and haunting flickers of floating synth.

Inara Geoge has a beautifully flexible voice, which always seems to be wavering between huskiness and sweetness. And she sounds like she’s having a lot of fun in this album, adding her own funky feminine flavor to time-honored pop songs — it ends up sounding like the confessions of a strong-willed girl who’s loved fast, hard and passionately, and has sometimes ended up with a heart that’s been cracked rather than broken.

‘Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall & John Oates’ is exactly what it sounds like — the Bird and the Bee’s deliciously vibrant covers of their classic songs.

Catchy and sweet.