10 tracks (36:02)
On their latest album, L.A.-based duo the bird and the bee cover of some of the most massive and magnificently wild songs from David Lee Roth-era Van Halen.
The fifth full-length from singer Inara George and multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin, Interpreting the Masters, Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen both sheds new light on the glory of classic VH and further proves the playful brilliance of the bird and the bee. This time around, George and Kurstin find common ground with their source material in a shared affinity for fantastically intricate rhythms, unforgettable melodies, and—most essentially—a certain ecstatic spirit imbued into every song.
Been digging their cover of Panama, so I thought I’d give their whole Van Halen cover album a try and enjoyed it! It’s been years since I listened to Van Halen, but I listened to 1984 enough when I was in high school to feel like they’re pretty ingrained in my memory. These were a fun twist, and made for good bike workout music 😉
Runnin’ with the Devil was too lounge piano-y for me, a shame for the first track to be one of the weakest. Eruption was a great surprise, an ELP-esque classical jam on a rock song. I don’t like the song Jamie’s Cryin’ that much, but I liked this cover. I liked Jump but not enough to add it to my rotation. Funny to end with a slowed-down live version of their own David Lee Roth tribute song, Diamond Dave. Got some ELP / Copland and BOC vibes at various point throughout the album.
I’m kind of surprised to see how few plays some of these songs have on last.fm – just 600 for the first track – but Diamond Dave has 55,000 plays? Must be on a playlist or soundtrack.
Favorite tracks: Panama, Unchained, and Ain’t Talking ’bout Love. I just wish they’d dropped the goofy convo interlude in Unchained.