Audio Mixer: Greg Kurstin.
Photographer: Autumn de Wilde.
The Bird and the Bee experienced their greatest success to date with Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1, a sleek 2010 tribute to Daryl Hall & John Oates that traded upon new wave tropes but didn't succumb to trite nostalgia. Arriving five years later (and on a different label, Rostrum Records), Recreational Love picks up on that sensibility and applies it to ten light and lovely original songs. Throughout the record there are conscious passing nods to early MTV classics -- a snippet of David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" here, a smidgeon of "Love My Way" over there, a bit of the Tom Tom Club elsewhere -- but the duo resist a dash toward the lowest common denominator, relying on their musical wit along with a sly sense of sophistication that's most apparent when they sway their way into a slow song. Usually, though, the Bird and the Bee keep things sparkling and effervescent on Recreational Love, relying on craft in both its writing and production, and it's easy to get dazzled by what they achieve. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine