Good, but they can (and will) do better...
J. Callahan | Flat Rock, NC United States | 09/11/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"No, Luna will never be The Velvet Underground. For one thing, they wear their influences too lightly to really sound like the Velvets (or anybody else). Which doesn't mean they aren't capable of greatness, as their 1995 release "Penthouse" effortlessly demonstrated. "Romantica" is similarly well-crafted, with whimsical lyric touches that still make me smile after repeated spins. New bass player/singer Britta Phillips adds a pragmatic counterpoint to her duets with Dean Wearham that perfectly balances his goofy romanticism. And the guitar work is, as always, without peer in alt rock.If it sounds like I like this record, I DO! The problem is that I can't quite love it. For one thing, it sounds exhausted at times (try "Rememories," which is lovely but sooo sloooow). And just when you expect the guitars to soar--as on the luminous "Black Champagne" (my fave cut)--somebody hits the fader! In fact, all through the disc you can hear Luna chaffing against what must have been a pretty tight recording schedule.If you're a Luna fan, you already own "Romantica." If you're just discovering them, start with "Penthouse," but buy this one, too. Hopefully, they'll sell enough copies of both to finance more recording time on the next album! Could be a great one."
Good for anyone else but not great for Luna
J. Callahan | 04/24/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'd read reviews from other devotees saying that the band had wandered off course with the last couple of albums, and i figured it was sour grapes. well, not so. i think romantica is a good example of luna just not having the spontaneity and the group energy they used to. the songs here are less guitar driven, less jam-oriented, less floaty and ethereal -- and more "written." the quirky, wry humor is now winky and calculated. everything seems more pop oriented. and a lot of the songs sound the same. rememories and orange peel both seem kind of pointless. mermaid eyes is weak. renee is crying is too cute. and black champagne has strings that are just yucky. still, there are things to like here. black postcards, dizzy and 1995 are standouts. nothing on romantica really [stinks]. and even an off album by luna is better than 95% of the [stuff] you hear on the radio. is romantica a waste of money? no. but if you're trying luna for the first time, buy bewitched, penthouse, or luna live. those are albums that show the magic of which luna is -- or was -- capable."
Romantica rocks and sways
tom Burleigh | Brooklyn, NY | 05/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Luna is one of the great holdovers from a different era (early 90's), when the climate was nicer and the world more receptive to the psychedelic-Velvet-inspired-indie rock of which they have reigned supreme for over a decade. They haven't changed their style dramatically, if at all, since their first album, Lunapark. And that is very much a good thing. Where bands today are tripping overthemselves to deliver [junk] to the masses - Luna are the steady rudders in this tumultuous world of music - consistantly delivering beautiful hooks, droning guitars, hypnotic bass lines with a clever sense of humor. Romantica holds true to this grand tradition. Their best effort since '95's Penthouse. Romantica rocks. It sways. It swoons. Tuneful standouts are "Lovedust", "Black postcards" "Black Champagne" and "1995." But really, it's all good. Which is why you should listen. Get on the bus."