Album Reviews

The Bird And The Bee – Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future

(Blue Note) UK release date: 26 January 2009


Ladyhawke’s recent inability to shift more then roughly ten copies of her ridiculously catchy debut, it’s probably best not to count your chickens.

Elsewhere, first single Love Letter To Japan makes a beeline for the radio playlists, featuring a euphoric chorus and playground-style backing vocals (complete with delicious “ho ho hos”).

Kurstin, unlike say Xenomania, keeps things relatively simple, utilising studio trickery sparingly and seductively, creating lush, textured musical beds. Baby, for example, isn’t so much a song as a giant music box being opened, all sprinkled keyboard rushes and string swells, whilst George even gets away with a spoken word section mid-song.

Polite Dance Song opens with a jaunty melody, rolling drums and some cheeky lyrics (“Just show a little bit of brain”), before handclaps, layered backing vocals and what sounds like a car horn pile in for an almighty climax.

It’s not all good though. The grating Diamond Dave and You’re A Cad would have been rejected by Lily Allen for being too nauseatingly bouncy, whilst Ray Gun and Meteor are adequate but hardly jaw-dropping.

Overall though, Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future is an inventive, forward-thinking pop record. It’s not a record to dissect or fall in love with, but rather a diverting, casual listen that brightens up the best part of an hour. Kurstin may never become a household name a la Ronson, but with The Bird And The Bee he’s got a pretty impressive hobby.


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