Track Review: Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones, “Long Time Gone”

billiejoe and norah
Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones
“Long Time Gone”
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

At first glance, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones don’t make the most logical pairing. But then again, Jones has recorded with the likes of Faith No More/Mr. Bungle frontman Mike Patton, so it wouldn’t be the first time the singer-songwriter has found an unconventional musical partner. That being said, Armstrong and Jones are simply marvelous together. On “Long Time Gone,” the first track to be released from Foreverly, an album inspired by The Everly Brothers’ Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, the duo adopts the fraternal performers’ close harmony style and ‘50s-era country arrangements. The production is crisper and benefits from modern technology, but aside from that, Jones and Armstrong keep to a simple, classic sound, which they pull off without a hitch. Armstrong in particular is the standout here, showing off his range with a glorious vocal performance that his work with Green Day rarely even hinted at. A song as good as “Long Time Gone” is hard to ruin, but the right take — like this one — can certainly revive it.