Billie Joe & Norah
The "Foreverly" project -- which pairs Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones to cover the Everly Brothers' 1958 album "Songs Our Daddy Taught Us" -- is one of those ideas that doesn't make much sense until it's heard. But the way Billie Joe and Norah's voices fit together and fill this spare Americana context so beautifully eliminates any doubts. Songs like "Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" sound like they came straight out of a '50s time capsule, delivered sweetly and simply, with the slightest bit of rockabilly swagger, while the ache of "Down in the Willow Garden" is haunting.
As the vocal half of reclusive duo Rhye, whose early-year debut "Woman" reminded everyone how great smooth, steely, Sade- adjacent soul can sound, Mike Milosh confounded listeners just by being a man with a high, sensual voice, but as a solo artist he's been actively releasing nakedly emotional electronica for years. Fortuitously timed to his preferred down-tempo heartache sound being pushed into service across the R&B and pop landscape, fourth album "Jetlag" sets his voice against spotless, slate-colored slow jams that convey the grasping intimacy and unavoidable ennui of love in equal measure.