BY Chuck MolgatPublished Nov 1, 2004

The last-ever studio release from long-time NYC drone-rock unit Luna, Rendezvous makes for an appropriate swansong. Like much of Luna’s latter day catalogue, the 11 tracks that comprise the disc revisit many of the very same Velvet Underground-isms that have both endeared the band to its devoted, cult-like fans and ushered the group well off the radar of so many critics and other folks whose musical interests tend towards fresher, more progressive fare. Sure, Luna’s tunes and front-man Dean Wareham’s lyrics have always maintained a respectable level of quality, but the band had long ago become content to make music within a relatively narrow framework. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does render the news of Luna’s demise something less than a total surprise. What does set Rendezvous apart from predecessor discs like Romantica and Days of Our Nights is the fact most of the tracks here were recorded live in the studio. Though never a particularly lively stage act, Luna has long been revered for its sinuous performance chemistry, as captured on the band’s 2001 Luna Live disc. A degree of that magic (including some fine guitar intermingling on the part of Wareham and Sean Eden) informs a number of tracks here and affords the overall production a cosy warmth. The band also saves one of its most beautiful moments for last with the dreamy, ethereal "Broken Chair,” the lyrics of which seem to offer both an apology and a farewell of sorts.

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