Covers Corner: “Foreverly” by Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones

Yes, this is the first time we’re doing an entire album of covers for this feature! Foreverly is actually one of my favorite cover albums, just because it’s so unique. Who would have thought that the Green Day frontman would duet with someone best known for Come Away With Me softness? What’s more, that the two of them together would record covers of Everly Brothers hits? It’s a bunch of tastes that, surprisingly enough, taste really good together.

The album starts out sparse, with “Roving Gambler,” a ballad describing the narrator’s downfall due to their gambling addiction. The twanginess of the guitar sets the stage for what’s to come. And indeed, the acoustic vibes continue with “Long Time Gone.” That song is one of the standouts on the album for me. I especially love the electric guitar that sneaks in towards the end. It’s a little reminder of Armstrong’s punk roots. “Lightning Express,” the follow-up, is weaker; like “Roving Gambler,” it’s a ballad, but the story drags on just a little too long.

The other song that I like a lot from Foreverly is “Oh So Many Years.” It has sad lyrics (“Each night within my lonely room/I cry dear, over you.”) but the melody is lovely. Here, Armstrong and Jones’s voices blend together in an especially nice way. Armstrong doesn’t have a particularly deep voice, and Jones doesn’t have a particularly high one, so they support each other’s harmonies quite smoothly.

Overall, the album provides an update to traditional melodies and songs, without taking away their heart. It’s a fun curio.

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