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The Bird And The Bee Review

by Dan MacIntosh

Music buyers get a few big give away hints about the nature of The Bird And The Bee's sound, before they even put this CD into their player. Hint Number One: Inara George is Lowell (Little Feat) George's daughter. This hint is nothing but a dead end, however, because daughter George's music is nothing like her dad's Southern California boogie rock. Hint Number Two: It's on a Blue Note Records-associated label (Metro Blue). Granted, this younger George has a beautiful singing voice, and one that probably wouldn't have too much trouble keeping up with the jazzily harmonic Manhattan Transfer vocal quartet. But this is not a jazz disc. Instead, The Bird And The Bee, a duo that also includes multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin, mostly makes singer/songwriter, quiet storm R&B.

George's voice is so darn sweet, she can get away with a profane proposition like, "Would you be my f***ing boyfriend?" without ever losing her little girl charm. Although it concerns sad subject matter, the song "I'm A Broken Heart" is nevertheless a lovely, lilting summer tune; it just has a Brian Wilson magical quality about it. Heck, it even features a trombone solo. And when was the last time you heard one of those brass instruments on a pop record? That horn player on the track is David Ralicke, by the way, because the busy Kurstin plays every other instrument. And he's a regular one-man band, as there's a plethora of sounds filling out this delightful pop offering.

Lyrically, a few of these songs also verge on the psychedelic. "La La La" is a good example of its hippy vibe. "We have loaded up your eyes/And fed you tangerines/If you open your box/You will find a tight machine." Yeah, well, whatever.

The Bird And The Bee is a name that strongly suggests sex, or at least it's the term used to describe sex education. And while this duo is by no means lyrically celibate, George's songs, instead, celebrate all of life. Sex, and everything else humans experience.

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