Lunas allegedly last studio album is astonishing, their best since 1995s Penthouse
. The band has arrived at a pleasant, Television
-on-xanax variant of indie-rock thats so smart, sexy, and sophisticated, it threatens to melt right into the background. As befits a group thinking of (their own) empire, Luna revisits one of their best songs, "Astronaut." Like the rest of the album, here its leaner, stronger, and slower, while "Malibu" and "Owl" display some of the finest, melodic and stripped-down guitar playing since the Feelies
heyday. Much of what helps raise Luna from pretty sonic wallpaper are Warehams lyrics. Delivered in a stylish deadpan, Warehams words seem to owe much to New York School poets like John Ashbery, Joe Brainard, and, of course Lou Reed
. But while "Star Spangled Man" is a great song whose lyrics are composed at least partly of stolen song titles ("tell me something good," "unknown pleasures")--is it great because of or in spite of the horrible, horrible pun "Chairman Mouse"? We shall leave it to grad students of the future to decide. --Mike McGonigal
"Rendezvous," the latest jewel in the crown of New York City alt-rock royalty Luna, also proves to be their most brilliant.