The Bird and the Bee seems to just keep getting better and better! Such wonderful catchy melodies, intricate instrumentation, and Inara George's sultry voice send tingling feelings throughout me everytime I listen to this CD. Make no mistake - this is NOT just another blase generic "American Idol" sounding hum-drum lowest-common-denominator type of album. It's the real thing. Inara George and Greg Kurstin understand what songwriting is all about. I'm not sure why one of the reviewers (who admits to not having heard the entire CD) would state that this album isn't catchy. I find this very far from the truth. As much as I love the first album and their other song releases since then ("Come As You Were" is an excellent tune in my opinion), this album adds an additional level of maturity to their sound. Just when you think a melody in one of their choruses is predictable, The Bird and the Bee throws you for a loop and takes you in an unexpected direction. How utterly delightful. This is exactly how the legendary Rodgers and Hart would operate in writing their songs decades ago - by throwing the listener in unexpected directions.
My favorite track of this album is "Meteor." Listening to the opening verse, I was confident this track was going to be the low point of the album. Then, suddenly, the chorus kicks in and all the pieces of the song unexpectedly fit together in a very lush, creamy sort of way. I can't think of any other way to describe it. "What's in the Middle" is another great tune with a very interesting melody, "Love Letter to Japan" is a small tribute to bubblegum J-Pop (and a fun video if you get the chance to see it), and "You're a Cad" has a theatrical flair to it replete with major and minor chords that seem to do-si-do around each other. The other tunes on this album are deserving of similar praise! (By the way, it is true that 2 songs on this album have previously been released. I'm not sure about "Polite Dance Song," but "Birthday" is not a carbon-copy of the same song from their previous album. There are changes in some of the instrumentation that were quite noticeable to me compared to the previous version.)
It's easy to get tired of songs on mainstream radio that sound pretty, but end up being the same old thing and are forgettable after a month or two (and aim to please 98% of radio listeners). Groups like The Bird and the Bee, The Ditty Bops, The Divine Comedy, and Air (just a few of my favorites) are the ones I cherish because they offer something different. Most importantly, their melodies are hummable long after you've hit stop on your CD/MP3 player.