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:

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