Luna Romantica

Principal Luna dude Dean Wareham has never been one to throw out too many curveballs to fans of the typically mellow, less than dynamic NYC outfit. With Romantica, Luna’s sixth full-length studio effort, that consistency continues, as Wareham and company flit through track after track of new, unmistakably Luna-like material. (Indeed, those not too intimately versed in the decade-old band’s catalogue might be forgiven for mistaking this new platter for a retrospective collection, or another Velvet Underground tribute, for that matter.) The charge of sameness would be more of a knock, though, if Luna weren’t such a unique artistic commodity to begin with. Besides, there are some subtle advancements here, like the overall production style of knob-twister Dave Fridman, who has isolated Wareham’s languorous vocals more dramatically than on any previous release. Some acoustic guitar work and the odd flourish of beats also helps to freshen things up here and there. Perhaps the most notable difference, however, is to be found in Wareham’s lyrics. If you listen really closely on tunes like the title track and the disc’s leadoff number, "Lovedust,” you may be able to pick out the occasional thinly veiled optimistic phrase amongst the normally "too cool for school” front-man’s aloof prose. (Jetset)