The Bird and The Bee close out 2007 in the same way they started it--by releasing a wonderful little record. They released their debut LP in January, and now they've followed it up with a wonderful five-song EP, Please Clap Your Hands. These songs are very much of a piece with the debut, but as the band has always fared better in short bursts, this record is extremely concise. Inara George voice is soft, sweet, and never precious or twee; indeed, hers is one of the few truly pure pop voices. "Polite Dance Song" is one of the funniest songs I've heard all year, too; she's obviously placed tongue deeply in cheek, but her singing style makes her sound entirely earnest. "Man" and "So You Say" are two upbeat numbers that remind me of April March. The record's only weak spot is a cover of "How Deep Is Your Love." George sings it over a minimal, ambient accompaniment, and while this version is enjoyable it feels weak without the harmonies, and after the first time I heard it I said, "Gee, if they want to be the Captain & Tennille of the twenty-first century, then mission accomplished!" Still, it's not a terrible song, and it doesn't really ruin the beauty of the other songs. Overall, though, this EP is simply ace!
Listen To: "Polite Dance Song"
Please Clap Your Hands is available now on Blue Note
Labels: Blue Note, Reviews b, The Bird and The Bee