Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham
By Jeremy Saperstein
Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham L’Avventura Jetset http://www.jetsetrecords.com
There’s an old joke about a guy who passes on his review of a buffet to a friend.
“The entrees all tasted the same, the desserts weren’t much better than Jell-O with fruit cocktail and the sodas were flat,” he says.
“Sounds pretty awful. I bet you won’t be going back, huh?” asks his friend.
“But, I don’t understand. You said the food was awful.”
“It was, but there’s so much of it!”
This release from Luna frontman Dean Wareham and bass player Britta Phillips makes me think of that joke, with a major difference: this is good. It’s just not that substantially different from a Luna effort, which — if you like Luna — ain’t a bad thing. Arrangements are slightly quieter without Luna guitarist Sean Eden, but he’s nicely replaced here by lusher instrumentation, and Phillips’ lead turns at the microphone make me want to hear more.
Nary a review of Dean Wareham’s work gets written without mentioning his clever songwriting, and this one can’t be different. Favorite couples include “In 1984/I was hospitalized for approaching perfection” and “They make it so you can’t shake hands/When they make your hands shake” (from “Random Rules”). The band gets additional points for including another cover The Doors “Indian Summer.”