It's refreshing to hear a big time rock star put their mainstream ambitions aside in favor of a passion project. It's even more exciting when the results are as welcoming as the new collaboration between Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones. For Jones, the side-projects and collaborations don't come as that big as a surprise. But for the Green Day frontman, Armstrong, it would be hard for any fan to see this type of album coming. Armstrong recently consumed himself with the music of The Everly Brothers and subsequently sought out to recreate their music with a twist; a female counterpart. Enter Norah Jones, and welcome Foreverly.
More specifically, Foreverly is a recreation of The Everly Brothers 1958 album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. Even for fans of The Everly Brothers, this most likely isn't the first album or collection of songs you'd think of. It's not an album of rock and pop delights, such "Bye Bye Love" or "Wake Up Little Susie". Instead it's an album of honest folk songs and traditional Americana. In many ways, to pick this album to cover is an indication that the admiration on the side of Armstrong & Jones is honest as well. Their interpretations are respectable to the originals (it's actually quite fun to listen side by side). And the chemistry between Billie Joe and Norah is quite charming.
For Norah, Foreverly is another testament to her versatility and capacity as an artist. She can sing in just about any venue. For Armstrong, this is really an eye-opening moment. Not only does he deserve credit for instigating the project, but his performance is stellar. Where Green Day has thrived in the pushing the envelope and commercializing punk rock, Foreverly offers an opportunity to widen his artistry even further. He embraces that, and is responsible for one of the year's most pleasant surprises.
Review by Mike Vasilikos