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Review: foreverly

28 November 2013 No Comment

A project featuring Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and singer Norah Jones seems almost unfathomable. It’s even less likely they would put together a fascinating tribute to the Everly Brothers’ 1958 album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. As a result, foreverly is beautifully unexpected.

The two singers put their spin on traditional tunes about outlaws (“Roving Gambler”), cheating lovers (“Long Time Gone”), and murder (“Down In the Willow Garden”). The simplicity of the music masks the dark stories in the lyrics. On “Put My Little Shoes Away”, Armstrong and Jones sing the Everly Brothers tune over a simple piano line. The arrangement and spatial production adds to the depth of the lyrics.

11102889615_aa86726cfb_oThe vocals and vocal harmonies play a prominent role on the album. Billie Joe Armstrong is not known for his vocal flexibility, but Norah Jones often works with artists as varied as the Foo Fighters, Q-Tip, and even legends like Herbie Hancock and Dolly Parton. Their ability to harmonize on a melancholy track like “Lightning Express,” amplifies the emotion in the lyrics: “I want to kiss mother goodbye, before God takes her away.”

Armstrong and Jones are fantastic artists in their respective genres, and foreverly is a great tribute to the music of the Everly Brothers and traditional country folk. Each song is reverent and true to the original. Both Jones and Armstrong are great on vocals, especially when singing harmonies throughout. The album is a must-listen for fans of old-style country or anyone looking for something radically different from today’s music.

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