Inara George – An Invitation

September 6, 2008

Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Inara George’s second solo release (she also records with The Bird and the Bee) is a fully orchestrated collaboration with the highly esteemed arranger Van Dyke Parks. Conceived as a “song cycle,” the end result is a nod to the pop of the 40’s and 50’s, a modern take on work recorded by Nelson Riddle during his Capitol Records years, and, according to the press for the record, music by Frank Sinatra and Richard Sherman. Though many American artists have been, at one time or another, been hailed as geniuses, Van Dyke Parks is one of the few who has a body of work to justify such high praise. His musical contributions here dovetail beautifully with George’s lovely, expressive voice, producing a set of songs with rare charm, wit and sophistication. Is An Invitation itself a work of genius? I don’t know, but it’s unique and it’s awfully fun to listen to, and I definitely recommend it. Standout cuts: “Right As Wrong,” “Bomb,” “Dirty White” and “Oh My Love.”


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