For pop, the music of Bee gees It is imperishable, but this 2021 has brought us a pleasant surprise: now it can also have a good country reading. They are one of those things that can be thrown back, but it is convenient to overcome prejudice barriers, both for those who have them with the songs of the Gibb brothers and for those who keep them for the cowboy genre.
Barry Gibb, the only living member of the Bee Gees, has just released a good album with the band’s songbook in country key. Is named Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers’ Songbook Vol. 1. A volume in which he surrounds himself with a handful of snipers of the genre, both from before and now. Old heavyweights like Dolly Parton, Keith Urban or Sherley Crown sing around there. But what is striking is the participation of such great contemporary country talents. People like Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Gilliam Welch or Allison Krauss. A whole army of collaborators who make a rare album, which flies with the different personalities that participate, but also with the sound identity of its maker.
Barry Gibb has gone down in pop history for his famous falsetto, that recognizable piercing, high-pitched voice, that “in-tune screech” referred to by his own. Now, reviving off the dancefloor and flashy pop, it suits country prints. It’s shocking, but that doesn’t make it have its point, even its just tacky point. At first, it seems out of place, but there is something so sentimental, so open grave, in its interpretation that fits in with that spirit that country has of crying over sorrows like few genres. A good example is Run to me with Brandi Carlile. Sponsored by Carlile’s colossal timbre, it soars with the two breaking into a folk-country crescendo that does the original justice. This achievement does not happen with all the songs included in the disc, but the set ends up working.
This crazy album, full of voices, shows that the Gibb brothers songbook is immense. The early days of the group are full of pop pills with psychedelic overtones of enormous weight (put in your player albums like Bee Gees 1st, Horizontal Y Odessa), but as a result of their leap to disco music, the Bee Gees shaped a definitive sound that influenced all of popular culture. That is, the Gibbs group created a music suitable for dancing, who reached the club as well as the station, mixing white soul with R&B, in a fascinating burst of pop. A well-known story so well told in the documentary How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, released last year.
Barry Gibb says that his place is already from now on in the country. He feels like a country singer, although he is known by history as the great voice of disco music. He also tells in interviews with the American press that he did not expect such a good response from Nashville to this project. The greatness of the Bee Gees is known to all, but this trip of the hymns of the disco music taken to the root sound could have suffered severe rejection. It has not been so. One luck. These follies are appreciated in times when more and more stylistic corsets are being broken.