Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham: L’Avventura (Jetset Records)

It reveals the ache of the heart and the foolishness that is passion.

The voices of Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips were first linked on the song “Mermaid Eyes” from Luna’s 2002 release Romantica. Many people, myself included, wondered if there might be more to come from the pair. L’Avventura is the answer. The 11 songs feature their unique voices, both together and apart, on an album produced by Tony Visconti. Visconti, who has worked with a veritable “who’s who” of performers over the last 30 years, fills out the sparseness of their vocal styles with some truly inventive arrangements. The obvious reference of the CD is the music produced by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin in the late ’60s, and Phillips and Wareham fill the roles perfectly. Like that music, theirs is sly, silky, sexy, and very romantic. It reveals the ache of the heart and the foolishness that is passion.

Wareham’s voice has always been an acquired taste, but the selection of the material on this CD is well-suited. I especially liked “Moonshot,” the Buffy Saint-Marie song, which offers an expressiveness, somewhat buried in a cynical whine, that perfectly relays the song’s message. Two of Phillip’s solo efforts on the disk sound classic. “Out Walking” and “Your Baby” (both written by Phillips) have a retro sheen that makes them timeless. I could have lived without hearing “Random Rules” and “Indian Summer” (both covers), but they do no harm to this great album for summer lovers.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply