The Bird and the Bee
The unlikely but artistically fruitful partnership of Inara George and Greg Kurstin, aka The Bird and the Bee, has flourished for a decade, despite little encouragement from the commercial mainstream. The daughter of the late Little Feat leader Lowell George, she’s a subtly compelling singer who conveys deep feeling with languid poise; her best solo album is a collaboration with art-pop genius Van Dyke Parks. He’s a master of slick pop who’s produced big names like Katy Perry, Charli XCX, and Kelly Clarkson. But for all their polish, The Bird and the Bee has always been about finding the aching heart beneath the glossy surfaces, and this striking fourth album is no exception. While Recreational Love ups the danceablity quotient slightly from previous outings, shimmering songs like “Lovey Dovey” and “Please Take Me Home” are simultaneously exhilarating (for their suave craftsmanship) and heartrending (for their raw emotion), revealing intriguing new elements with each hearing.