Billie Joe and Norah
Just when you thought Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong couldn't commit a worse punk heresy than doing a Broadway musical, boo-yah! Here's a set of folk duets with the velvet-voiced Norah Jones. The year's second fine left-field, all-Everly Brothers LP (see Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Dawn McCarthy's What the Brothers Sang) remakes the 1958 Songs Our Daddy Taught Us LP with spot-on harmonies and playful retro arrangements. Tempos get oonched up here ("Barbara Allen"); electricity gets added there ("Long Time Gone"). But at its core, this is a faithful, touching re-creation. Still: Billie Joe as country crooner? Hey, it works — and dude always had the name for it.