The Bird and the Bee
Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future (Blue Note)
The Bird and the Bee's 2007 self-titled debut garnered moderate attention, with opening track "Again & Again" finding its way into an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" by subscribing to the Garden State Rule: Twee acoustics and loungey jazz with danceable electronics make for the best accompaniment to romantic melodrama.
On their second album, the duo of Greg Kurstin and Inara George continues to tease that balance of the smooth slickness of Imogen Heap and the organic preciousness of The Shins-and they're pretty darn good at it. At this point, these two have no doubt made their way into Zach Braff's Rolodex. Take that for whatever it's worth.
Or just consider the music. Occasionally Kurstin, who also co-wrote the latest Lily Allen album, can't quite talk these styles into bedding one another ("Love Letter to Japan" is almost excessively danceable in this album's relatively calmer context). The infectious hand-clap and stomp-beat under eloquently sweet orchestrations of "My Love," however, sound fresh and inviting. "Birthday" glides from one adorably uplifting chord progression into another. Throughout, George's voice lures you in as it floats from confident sexiness to hypnotic wistfulness.