Well, my friends it been a while. After buying "Pup Tent" and getting turned off to it's discordant jangling rather quickly, I passed on the last two albums. The last recording, while showcasing the band's talents as live performers, was unoriginal and, I worried, Luna's swan song.
If not for the lovely little miracle of college radio and being able to preview the album online, there is no way I would have ventured forth to expereience what is in my mind the best album I've heard in years. It ranks along side their best recording, which I believe was "Bewitched", and better than "Penthouse" and "Lunapark" which, in turn, are better than just about any other album out there.
Where to start? Why at the beginning of course. I can't help to think that the songs on Romantica in someway mirror those on Bewitched. "Lovedust" reminds me in its sweet, bouncy manner of "California" from the latter album. Both are classic little ditties. "Black Champagne" is a more rich, textured and complex lovesong than "Bewitched" but both rank as my favorite compositons from this band.
Overall, from start to finish Romantica is light, airy and melodic. The hooks are sharp, and Dean's lyrics remain delightfully inscrutable. I continue to enjoy this album as it evolves over time in different seasons and environments and you will too.