CD Reviews




The only thing better than a guilty pleasure is two guilty pleasures—in this case, the self-indulgent pining of Stephin Merritt and the new-wave nostalgia of Boston DJ Christopher Ewen. This five-course follow-up (complete with tablecloth cover art) is the first release from the duo since their similar 1997 debut, Memories of Love. Those familiar with Merritt's main stint as the Magnetic Fields' lovelorn leader will instantly recognize his pleas and post-breakup barbs (“I'm as lonely as Narcissus gazing in his mirrored pond/ Wearing all the clothes you hate and going back to blond” from the title track), but Ewen's coochie-coo Casios are as far from the Fields' banjo ballads as Prozac is from Proust. Merritt's acerbic wit is also a strange match for Ewen's irresistible ear candy—the Erasure-like “I'm Lonely (and I Love It)” is proof, with Ewen at his most musically ambitious and Merritt at his crankiest, sarcastic best. Claudia Gonson, the band's manager and the Magnetic Fields' drummer/keyboardist, sings lead on two tracks, including the only truly moody, non-poppy entry from Ewen, “Caf Hong Kong.” If your '80s fantasy was to suffocate Vince Clarke with his tutu, then the Future Bible Heroes will make you lose your lunch—but, if you still close your blinds, don a skinny tie, and bop about to OMD and Yaz every once in a while, then this is your fix. (Kristin Fiore)

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