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ALBUM REVIEW | POP

Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones, ‘Foreverly’

Chad Batka/The New York Times

The Green Day frontman and the honey-voiced chanteuse may seem like an odd couple, but they make a perfect pair on this homey little homage to Phil and Don Everly and, in somewhat meta fashion, that influential duo’s own tribute to roots music, 1958’s covers album “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.”

A mix of classic pop, country, and folk, this lovingly dusty track-for-track remake — the third such Everly Brothers tribute this year, following albums from the Chapin Sisters and the duo of Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Dawn Mc-
Carthy — continues to underscore the timelessness of the siblings’ close harmony sound.

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Armstrong — playing it straight and in a tender mood — and Jones intertwine beautifully on the microphone, forging their own harmonious path and injecting the proceedings with a male-female charge, obviously not present in the originals. And musically, they keep it elegantly simple. The spare arrangements, recorded over nine days, stick mainly to guitar, bass, and drums occasionally adorned by saloon piano (Gene Autry’s “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine”), salty harmonica (“Roving Gambler”), and woozy pedal steel (the languid murder ballad “Down in the Willow Garden”).

If you’re seeking Everlys hits like “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Bye Bye Love,” this ain’t the place, but if you want to hear a cache of lovingly crafted versions of great story songs by two simpatico friends, “Foreverly” is a fine gateway to the Everlys’ catalog. (Then go find the originals.)

ESSENTIAL “Lightning Express”

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