- Audio CD (September 25, 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: EP
- Label: Universal Music
- ASIN: B000UZ4E16
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,532 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Please Clap Your Hands
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Please Clap Your Hands
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The Bird and the Bee return with Please Clap Your Hands, a five-song EP that finds the bands irrepressible soundwhich Rolling described as "audible sunshine" - evolving on four new originals including the lead single "Polite Dance Song," and a cover of the Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love."
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Top customer reviews
This new Bird And The Bee project, like the earlier album, seems to be aiming at a certain attitude, a certain style: modern, yet taking elements of soft 1960s pop music. They project a sort of wink-wink hipster ambivalence in most of the songs, except the final beautiful and heartfelt love song, How Deep Is Your Love.
I could almost make an argument that the group is an example of style over substance. Almost. The melodies, arrangements, production are astoundingly sophisticated and creative. Perhaps in this respect they could be compared to Steely Dan: great music, great production, sly attitude, but generally not aimed at touching the heart.
Still, these two musicians are producing some of the greatest pop music released this year. While the first album and this EP have been fun, I hope that in the future they can marry their musical talents to something a little more intimate and emotional -- like some of the material from Inara George's recent solo CD, All Rise. I have a feeling that what they've done so far, great as it is, entertaining as it is, will not wear well if they try to tread the same gound again on the next album.
All five songs are spectacular, but anyone who loves their work already knows how beautiful their sound is...
"Please Clap Your Hands" opens with the delightfully deadpan "Polite Dance Song" (it was featured on an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" this season.) You probably WON'T want to dance to it, but I think that may be the point. (The video for "Polite" is hysterical and can be viewed on various websites including youtube.) In the video Inara George looks like she's phoning in her peformance, but it goes with the underlying theme of monotony that runs throughout the track...The main refrain is absolutely-without-a-doubt amazing!!!
"Man" hasn't quite slipped in to my bloodstream yet, but I still adore it anyway. Every song can't stop your heart in its tracks, right? Their signature melody is here as well as their breathy, brainy lyrics.
"The Races" is the one that dug in and wouldn't let go. It's haunting and sensual and slightly accusatory without being bitter...the slightly wispy, electronic background music will not leave your mind as the words eerily remind you just a little too much of some of your own worst days:
"You wanted to be
You work so hard
Just to light a little fire
Just to make things happen
For a reason
Just to get so tired
Just to feel every
Itty bitty god#$^$
Bone in your body"
"So You Say" IS the one that makes you want to dance and hum along with its 60s bounce and coy affection. I have, in fact, done so several times in my car late at night when no one can see me.
The vulnerable and breath-taking cover of "How Deep is Your Love" has done the impossible and almost made me forget all about the Bee Gees' version. Inara George lays her heart on the line and forgoes her trademark veneer of sarcasm that makes the bird and the bee so quirky and fun. But how can this song be sung with anything but complete sincerity? In the background you hear what almost sounds like a sample from 10cc's "I'm Not in Love" but I think I'm just imagining that:)!
The only problem with this CD is that you long for it to be longer...it's such a tease!:)
I only wish that I had known of them sooner!
I was instantly enticed by the albums opening track, `Polite Dance Song', which channels a bit of Lily Allen (an artist I am totally in love with). In fact, what these guys do on both `Polite Dance Song' and the next track, `Man', is very Lily Allenesque. The bouncy vibes to these songs, accompanied by Inara George's delicate (yet commanding) vocals, make them sure-fire standouts. `Polite Dance Song' flows with an effortless vibe, something that weaves itself in and out of your eardrums without much force (even the chorus pickup is very subtle), but it stays mesmerizing throughout. `Man' has a more `pop' feel, the powerful beat making an impact as well as George's whispery chorus (not to mention her slick verse rhymes).
The 60's come to swinging life on the infectious dance track `So You Say', an upbeat, bubbly track that just coats the stereo with gushing amounts of pure pop pleasure.
`The Races' has a very different feel, something calmer and much mellower. The spoken word chorus structure is simply stunning in its ability to completely engage the listener with a raw earnestness. You feel this song deeply, and it shows a different side of The Bird and The Bee, a stark difference to the balance of the EP.
And then there is the dreaded cover song. Like with `One Too Many Hearts', this album contains a sore spot in the form of a cover track. This time it's of `How Deep Is Your Love', made famous by The Bee Gees. I'm not a fan of The Bee Gees, and I don't really care for the original song much, and so I can't say that this is a bad version (it may even be better than the original) but it's just an odd fit (and slightly boring) for me. It has a very authentic (simply stylized) feel to it, almost dreamy, but it just doesn't capture for me all that this duo is capable of.
Oh well; it's a small blemish on an EP chuck full of stylish and memorable tracks.