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Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 27 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B001IKE6BA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,109 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Fanfare
2. My Love
3. Diamond Dave
4. What's In The Middle
5. Ray Gun
6. Love Letter To Japan
7. Meteor
8. Baby
9. Phil
10. Polite Dance Song
11. You're A Cad
12. Witch
13. Birthday
14. Lifespan Of A Fly

Product Description

2009 release. Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future is definitely new sonic terrain for the Los Angeles-based duo. Every bit as beguiling as their debut, the album retains its predecessor's lithe melodies and Brazilian influences, but takes its stylish, '60s pop deeper into the Psychedelic period of the Tropicalia era. 14 tracks.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa62b27e0) out of 5 stars 49 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f04b64) out of 5 stars Another Excellent Addition!!! Jan. 28 2009
By Sam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f00e58) out of 5 stars Happiness Is A Warm Ray Gun Jan. 28 2009
By discod841 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There is, in fact, much to like about this album...finely crafted songs, witty lyrics, Inara George's lovely voice. For my money, the standouts are "Love Letter to Japan" and "Birthday", though I can't say there's any one song that's unlistenable. You're usually setting yourself up for disappointment if you pigeonhole an artist based solely on their first album, particularly artists as talented as The Bird and the Bee. While you may or may not prefer their eponymous debut over this release (or even one of their EPs, for that matter), a 1 star release this is not.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3175264) out of 5 stars B & B Ray Gun Jan. 28 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Another fine effort by B&B. Some songs are better than others, but all are enjoyable. My favorites are 'Diamond Dave' which features those trademark swirling, near-robotic hamonies; Love Letter to Japan, with its slick anthem-like background vocals; and You're a Cad, which has a cheesy-cool ragtime feel. There are other good ones, like Witch and Birthday. In fact the only song I wasn't crazy about was Lifespan of a Fly. If you're already familiar with B&B, you won't be disappointed. If you're new to the duo, give them a shot- they're a lot of fun.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa31babb8) out of 5 stars If Bond Girls made music... Feb. 17 2009
By Stuyvesant6 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The second full-length album from LA singer Inara George (bird) and producer Greg Kurstin(bee), Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future, is a finely crafted marriage of lounge-influenced electronica and George's chilled, breathy soprano. Kurstin, who recently produced Lily Allen's sophomore album It's Not Me, It's You, indulges in spare, spacey backgrounds reminiscent of French electronica giants Air. He puts a downtempo clap and stomp cribbed from the Ronettes into songs like "My Love" and "Polite Dance Song", the latter a catchy and goofy turn contrasting George's schoolgirl delivery to her raise-the-roof instructions. The lush "Meteor" plays like a female version of Jamiroquai's "Cosmic Girl", replacing overactive funk with a remote bleeping, blooping track out of your favorite 80's side scroller.

"Ray Gun" is begging to be used in advertisements for the next season of "Mad Men", with George cooing "I'm caught under the weight of all this talk on life" over a smoky bass and Continental harpsichord loop. The duo experiment with different retro genres from bouncy music hall ("You're A Cad") to J-pop ("Love Letter to Japan") to sappy love ballads ("Baby"). Admittedly, the duo's style leaves little room for ambivalence. You either buy into the 60's lounge vibe or you don't (hence my 4-star rating.) The music reminds of Bond girls: fun, throwback attitudes, sexy but aloof, awfully clever but a little vacant. "Diamond Dave" is your Dalton-era song: a tribute to David Lee Roth (I like the song and the films, but I know I'm in the minority).

Like user penname, this is the first album I've bothered to review. It's that good.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2fcf624) out of 5 stars Bird and the Bee serve up ray gun specialties Feb. 11 2009
By Jonathan Oyama - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Inara George is really getting hype in her collaborations with Greg Kurstin, the keyboardist for Geggy Tah. Now the band, The Bird and the Bee, are combining their jazz sound with hip-hop rhythms and disco.

The end result, "Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future" is a great evolution of BATB's sound, with sci-fi keyboards and hot dance hall beats.

This is probably one of my favorite albums of the year so far. "Ray Guns" feature a wide variety of hip-hop beats, 60s funk and sci-fi sounds. It makes for an awesome retro futuristic album.

Songs such as "What's In the Middle" feature rocking hip-hop beats with awesome synthesizers playing in a dark minor key. Best of all, the simple bass line just sounds so cool that it feels more like an old James Bond film. And the cool electric guitar solo adds an edge that no other band has.

Other songs, such as "Baby," layer Inara George's entrancing vocals, making for an effervescent sound. It's so seductive to hear George's oohs and aahs with ascending harp sounds and xylophones in the background.

Awesome dance tunes, such as the single, "Love Letter to Japan," really demonstrate just how comfortable George and Kurstin have settled in with their dance rhythms and 60s sensibilities. The staccato synthesizers combine with a koto sound playing a Japanese melody, making for a surreal romance song about Japan. On a side note, their music video for the song is just as cool, with a Japanese guy playing a Dance Dance Revolution-style arcade game, with George and Kurstin singing on the screen.

And while there are some boring songs, such as the quiet and somewhat dull "Lifespan of a Fly," this is one of the coolest albums I've ever heard from Inara George in a long time. The Bird and the Bee are definitely one of the coolest pop groups in America right now.

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