It's hard to pin down why, but 'F*cking Boyfriend', the latest single from LA-based jazz-inflected synth-pop duo the bird and the bee, sounds sterile.
It's not that the track is poorly put together; Greg Kurstin's musical bed sidles in on the back of some hazy synth-lines, and then switches up into shuffling programmed beats that groove away ahead of the twittering-effect-laden chorus. Inara George, the half of the band on crooning duties has a lovely, lovely voice. Wafting around at the high-end of the scale, her breathy delivery is very reminiscient of Imogen Heap and her lyrics here are by turns neurotic and deliciously jaded. Broken into its component parts, the song sounds like a winner.
Taken as a whole, however, it all sounds far less immediate than it should. George's voice sounds all wrong for the material - much of the velvet-tipped edge that this track should give off is absent here. It's not a terrible song - it just struggles to make a lasting impression. In fact, if it weren't for the potty-mouthed chorus, this number could easily sail over the head of happy hour in a Soho cocktail lounge without anybody noticing at all - and the tag 'background music' is never something to strive for.
5Nick Cowen's Score