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  Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips  
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After the 2002 release of Luna’s Romantica LP, band members Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham began work on L’Avventura. This album is less a side project, and more just a collection of tasteful covers and nice originals seemingly put together for fun. Madonna's I Deserve It, Buffy Sainte-Marie's Moonshot, the Doors' Indian Summer, Angel Corpus Christi's Threw it Away, and the Silver Jews' Random Rules make up nearly half of the eleven track album, and are all performed with the utmost tastefulness. As for the originals, they seem to represent a side of songwriting that might not be compatible with the recent recorded output of Luna.

What at first seemed an odd choice for producer actually does this record quite well; legendary producer (Bowie, etc) Tony Visconti produced this record in a very un-Tony-Visconti way. The overall tone of this record is like a mixture of Portishead’s Dummy, Mazzy Star’s Among My Swan, and ordinary Luna. The inclusion of some tasteful, lush strings reminds me of Portishead (especially on the more trip-hop-ish selections), but Britta’s breathy yet strong vocals really take me back to old Mazzy Star records.

Stand out tracks include Night Nurse, a song about British medication which is full of very well-executed vocal harmonies; Madonna’s I Deserve It, in a faithful but not boring rendition, and the beautiful Your Baby, which really shows Britta’s capabilities. Also, one of my favorite electronic instruments, the Suzuki QChord, is used on four of the tracks! Drummer Matt Johnson (who played on most of the late Jeff Buckley’s records, as well as with Beth Orton and others.), and the Scorchio String Quartet round out the roster of contributors for the record.

Verdict? L’Avventura is a really cool record with some really bright spots. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a Luna fan. Also worth noting is that you can hear Britta’s home demo version of Your Baby at HTTP://

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