Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones CD Foreverly surprising both in concept and in practice
- Written by Blair Henatyzen
Aside from 14 Grammys, what do you get when you mix mainstream punk with an equal part of soulful jazz? Foreverly; a collaboration between Green Day frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Norah Jones that revitalizes the Everly Brothers cover album, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.
Reread the first paragraph.
It sounds strange. It sounds like some drunken music executive hatched a plan to get everyone talking about music again, regardless of the outcome. However it came to be, it works.
Armstrong, best known for wearing guy-liner and yelling obscenities about former President George W. Bush, is the rock the album's vocals lean on. He keeps it even and steady while Jones, with a wistful yet billowing voice, adds texture that, dare I say, even lacked on the original. Also, their harmony would make Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers cry an entire river (or stream, for that matter).
This is a country album, if you haven't figured that out yet.
On songs like Barbara Allen, one of the best known songs in the English language, Amrstrong gets the opportunity to go solo and it sounds fantastic. A part of me just wants him to bust loose into some kind of 3-chord punk rendition of the song, but he stays true to the album with Jones accompanying him the rest of the way. That's my only complaint. I just kept waiting for a hint of Green Day. Admittedly, it probably would have turned the whole thing into a monumental shipwreck. So, it's a good thing he didn't.
The album was surprising both in concept and in practice. Both of which make it worth listening to.
Blair Henatyzen is a part of The Big Show, Weekday Mornings, 5.30am - 9.30am, on 98.1 Free FM. I wish there was a reasonable explanation for how I've ended up where I have. But, there isn't. The last thing I remember is falling asleep in Marketing class. After that, I woke up with a mic in front of me and a keyboard at my fingertips - whoever allowed that to happen made a mistake. Follow Blair on Facebook & Twitter @LdnOnt_Blair.