Can sadness be more sweet? The aptly named Romantica, Luna's sixth studio effort, speaks of broken hearts and misplaced dreams in such a decadent and gorgeous way that pleasure trumps pain. The band, re-energized by the appearance of candy-voiced bassist Britta Phillips, (who replaced Justin Harwood after his departure to tend to his wife and child in New Zealand) is back at the top of its game, playing songs to be listened to with a brown bottle and a comfy chair.
Romantica brings Luna back to the languid guitars and relaxed grooves of Penthouse. Dean Wareham is at his wry and witty best; penning lyrics such as "I'm bad with faces and worse with names. The lost glove is happy, it's all the same" and the just plain silly "Salt and pepper squid and singapore noodles, I could look at your face for oodles and oodles."
Sean Eden's warm and fuzzy (and utterly beautiful) lead guitar sings and couples with Britta's playful bass riffs and Lee Wahl's persistent drumming to frame Dean's warbling and strumming in a picture of wistful and relaxed intonation. The listener is transported to a neighborhood café, mid-afternoon, a few drinks in the gut and beautiful people abound.
Stand outs include the opener Lovedust, featuring Deans sexy, vodka soaked growl, the more rocked-out Weird and Woozy and Renee is Crying, and the sugary sweet Mermaid Eyes (accented by Britta's erotic, yet soothing alto)
This album has definitely been touched by the recent divorce of Dean and his actress ex-wife, but in this case heartbreak was a fine muse. Dean says it best in Dizzy, "My life is small and getting smaller, and I'm surrounded by Demons. It's fantastic"