The Bird and the Bee ‘Ray Guns Are Not Just for the Future’ (Blue Note/EMI) 2/5

This is the second album by the duet for the Blue Note and marks a departure from the first which was heavily inspired by the sound of Brazilian tropicalia and 1960s psychadelia. Aiming far more at the pop end of musical matters, though still retaining some of the the easy lounge feel of the debut, The Bird and the Bee focus far more on the production side and string-laden songs such as ‘Witch’ and liad-back ‘Ray Gun’ offer a touch of sophistication. On the other hand there is a degree of ingenuity in ‘You’re a cad’, inpsired by the Muppets theme and ‘Diamond Dave’ hints at Swing Out Sister, though not nearly as soulful. Undoubtedly there is a certain floating quality to the songs overall, but they are quite forgettable and one wonders whether an audience for easy listening music of this nature exists. There may well be a niche in the market for this kind of music, but it is not one that that this writer is overly familiar with.

Tim Stenhouse