Billie Joe + Norah – Foreverly
The idea of modern pop-punk icon Billie Joe Armstrong and smoky jazz vocalist Norah Jones teaming for a duet album was quite perplexing to say the least. Even more bizarre was that it wouldn’t necessarily be a compilation of original material but a “reinterpretation” of the Everly Brothers’ album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.
The whole thing had “internet-hoax” written all over it but low and behold these two multi-award winning artists have ignored critical hesitance and released Foreverly, the premise of which is far more intriguing than the final result.
Despite what many may expect this is not Green Day takes on the Everly Brothers, nor is it even a rash punk enthused reworking with the sultry vocals of Jones lifting it to dazzling new heights. Instead what we get is simple stripped down melodramatic ballads soaking in southern roots.
That said, it’s surprising as to how well Armstrong and Jones’ vocal abilities complement one another as they sing in unison throughout the album bar one track. Silver Haired Daddy of Mine and Down in the Willow Garden are the best examples though it’s fair to say that things become repetitive and mundane as the album continues.
It’s not that either singer sounds particularly bad but the drawn out country-drawl both adopt becomes a little much for any part-time country music listener, with Armstrong’s nasal delivery particularly grating.
Another discouraging aspect to the record is the overall vocal mix, which creates a distracting echo effect on both voices. This may have been intentionally designed to craft a vintage vibe but frankly rips away any remaining soul the original tunes had, leaving them sounding hollow and distant.
A strange and curious contribution, though perhaps best left to the originals – an interesting listen nonetheless.
Foreverly is released on 25th November 2013. For further information or to order the album visit Norah Jones’s website here.
Watch the video for Silver Haired Daddy of Mine here: