The Bird and the Bee

Please Clap Your Hands

by Evan Sawdey

17 October 2007

 

“You’ve got the brains / I’ve got the looks / Let’s make lots of money”

So goes the immortal Pet Shop Boys song “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)”. The Bird and the Bee applies a similar aesthetic to their music-making: Greg Kurstin plays all of the instruments while Inara George does all of the vocals and looks pretty. Following their well-received debut LP in January, they deliver the year-closing Please Clap Your Hands EP, and—shock and awe—it sounds a lot like their debut. It also shares another interesting aspect of their debut: quality songs. “Polite Dance Song” comes off like Zero 7 doing an angry cover of a Maroon 5 song, and it works quite well (especially with George cooing out terms like “crazy-ass beat” with total conviction). “Man” carries the same wistful vibe of U.K. act Bat for Lashes, but with a distinctly European keyboard-flair. “The Races” is a fine song by itself, but in following “Polite Dance Song” and “Man”, it comes off as something of a musical retread of what preceded it (debut LP included). Yet it’s the retro-styled pop of the infectious “So You Say” that is the clear winner: sunny background vocal harmonies intermingling with “96 Tears” keyboards and a distinct dance aesthetic. The fact that it closes with a less-schmaltzy take on the Bee Gee’s “How Deep Is Your Love” is an added bonus. They got the brains & they got the looks: just watch them make a lot of money.

cover art

The Bird and the Bee

Please Clap Your Hands

(Blue Note)
US: 25 Sep 2007
UK: Available as import

Please Clap Your Hands

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Counterbalance: Elvis Costello's 'Imperial Bedroom'

// Sound Affects

"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

READ the article