Album review

Billie Joe + Norah (Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones)


Label: Reprise
Media: LP
Genre: Jazz

The Everly Brothers’ instantly identifiable close harmony singing helped define 1950’s rock and roll sound. Their smart looking hillbilly style with the combed back hair was an iconic look to youngsters rebelling from their parents’ and teachers’ attempts to make them look and behave like Andy Williams. They were emulated by the next generation of rockers and it’s hard not to hear the Everlys in everyone from the Beach Boys to Simon and Garfunkel. What a fitting tribute, then for this amazing release from Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Norah Jones. I’d have never thought of pairing these two singers, let alone expected them to do such a spooky good Everly tribute. No doubt Phil Everly enjoyed it before passing on in January.

Armstrong and Jones pair to sing these songs from the Everly’s 1959 Cadence LP Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. The album was released in November of 2013 and the CD seemed to have sound to die for. That was until this LP (mastered by Chris Bellman of Grundman Studios), was released sounding much better. Where the CD clearly portrayed the two singers, the LP makes them three-dimensional and fills in the recording space around them, reminding us how good vinyl can sound. Everly covers are in vogue now, but this one stands atop the heap in every way.

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