Those original tunes sound like that they could have sprung up decades ago, thanks to vintage vocal interplay and musical arrangements. And like some of the well-known artists of those long-gone eras, The Flat Five relish adding a certain amount of silliness. Still, it’s surprising (and funny) to encounter gorgeously delivered lines like, “Rub a dub a dub, you dirty thing” and “I know it was wrong to hit your mother but she had it coming all the way.” On “Buglight,” which sounds at least partly inspired by The Mills Brothers’ “Ragmop,” there’s the line, “My girl don’t look like Madonna, but she gets hot when she turns on a buglight.”
Occasionally, the humor and quick rhymes feel forced, as on “Blue Kazoo,” but that’s easy to overlook when the album offers treats like the jazzy and sensual “You’re Still Joe” and the off-kilter but enticing techno pop of “Almond Grove.” The easy-going “Florida” taps into The Andrews Sisters, but fans of the more recent sibling act The Roches would also be impressed. The Flat Five are at their best on “This Is Your Night,” an irresistible samba that recalls “Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66.