Album: Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham
Friday 14 November 2003
The origins of L'Avventura are probably traceable to the American indie outfit Luna's 1995 album Penthouse, specifically to a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Bonnie & Clyde" on which Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier played Jane Birkin to Dean Wareham's Gainsbourg. The same quirky sexual chemistry has been extended to album length here, with Wareham's fellow Luna-tic Britta Phillips replacing Sadier on a series of inscrutable original love songs and idiosyncratic covers of such material as The Doors' "Indian Summer", Madonna's "I Deserve It" (re-imagined as fuzz-chord indie-pop), and Buffy Saint Marie's "Moonshot", whose lovely, resigned melody fits the duo's vocal style perfectly, Wareham's slightly sinister awkwardness and Phillips' gamine elegance recalling the combination of innocence and experience in Gainsbourg and Birkin. The secret weapon is the producer Tony Visconti, who has devised ingenious combinations of glittering guitars, droning keyboards, mellotron, vibes, and the tenderest of string arrangements. Wareham's "Night Nurse" and "Ginger Snaps" are the most engaging pieces here, their sultry candy-pop settings studded by striking, playful rhymes such as "You are the treacle in my pie/ You are the splinter in my eye" and "When the cowboy sings/ When the Saturn rings". An understated, unexpected delight.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
The last decade has produced just four UK festival headline acts
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture